22 November 2017
Today, from a coordination centre at Eurojust’s premises in The Hague, actions were taken by judicial and law enforcement authorities in Latvia and the Netherlands, upon request of the German authorities, and coordinated by Eurojust. Two arrests in Latvia have been made, searches and seizures at several premises were carried out, and interviews were conducted.
The seizure of 9.3 million undeclared cigarettes at the port of Lübeck-Travemünde at the end of 2015 was the starting point of the investigation by the Customs Investigation Office of Hamburg. The case was opened by the German Desk at Eurojust upon the request of the Public Prosecutor’s Office (PPO) of Lübeck.
The modus operandi of the organised smuggling was to load millions of illegally produced cigarettes without tax stamps on trucks in Latvia with the Netherlands as the destination country.
A coordination meeting was held in September 2017 at Eurojust, attended by competent national authorities from Germany, Latvia and the Netherlands, to coordinate the judicial activities and prepare for today’s actions.
In Germany, European Arrest Warrants against Latvian suspects and a European Investigation Order were issued to the Latvian and Dutch authorities for searches of homes and businesses in their respective countries.
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