Police: tattooed criminals are not the only ones engaged in drug trafficking

The underground drug trafficking business is organised by people with higher education and knowledge of the industry. The belief that only people with a criminal past are involved in this black market business is a stereotype, says Chief of Latvian State Police Organised Crime Enforcement Office Andrejs Siņavins and chief of the 2nd Department Sandis Radziņš.
Latvian authorities engaged in efforts to put an end to the narcotics business report that there are no local, stable and organised crime groups in Latvia. «All of them have ties to international crime groups. It’s not possible to deliver drugs from Latin America to Latvia without contacts in America and Europe,» explains Siņavins.
Radziņš also notes that the illegal narcotics trade involves people from all walks of life. «We have people under arrest who have programming education. None of them have a prior criminal record. It is a known stereotype when people think only tattooed criminals are engaged in such criminal activities.»
«In reality clever people with good education are also involved in this illegal business. They play all kinds of roles,» says Radziņš.
When it comes to the most effective means of preventing illegal drug trafficking, Radziņš praised changes to the law that have allowed law enforcers confiscate finances acquired through sale of narcotics and psychotropic substances. This makes it too expensive and wasteful for criminal groups to maintain their ‘business’. The persons arrested so far were unpleasantly surprised to learn that their and their relatives’ owned real estate and other property were put under arrest.
«It is important to prove to every drug trader that this kind of business is not economically viable. In other words – they have to know police will come at some point and confiscate everything they have invested in a legal business,» said Radziņš.
Siņavins adds that the moment police intercept a shipment of drugs, the owners of the illegal business are forced to write it as a loss,
«but when their personal property acquired through illegal means is taken away from them – it’s a completely different story».
As previously reported, Latvia has taken the initiative and has commenced a large-scale project FIDR. Latvia is in charge of this project. Its accredited partners include Lithuania’s Criminal Police and Estonia’s Police and Border Guard. The project also includes participation from law enforcers from other EU member states and USA.
The point of the project is adopting proactive and innovative solutions while also saving human and financial resources to battle organised crime groups more effectively. This includes discovery and liquidation of money laundering schemes and prosecuting those guilty of committing crimes. The project also includes a number of training and education activities for law enforcers.