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Latvia: Searches and detentions in investigation into agricultural funding fraud

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(Luxembourg, 18 October 2023) – Yesterday, 17 October, the State Police of the Republic of Latvia carried out searches and detained four suspects in the Zemgale region, in an investigation by the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) in Riga into a €1 million fraud involving agricultural funds.

According to the investigation, the construction tenders for various projects overseen by the Rural Support Service of the Republic of Latvia were false. It is alleged that companies associated with the funding beneficiaries carried out the construction work, overpricing the costs. A substantial portion of the funding meant for construction appears to have gone directly into the beneficiary’s pocket, resulting in extensive fraudulent use of funds from the EU’s European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD).

The searches were carried out on behalf of the EPPO by the State Police of Latvia – 2nd Division of the Economic Crime Combating Department of the Main Criminal Police Department (Valsts policijas Galvenās kriminālpolicijas pārvaldes Ekonomisko noziegumu apkarošanas pārvaldes 2.nodaļa), and four persons were detained.

The EPPO is the independent public prosecution office of the European Union. Itis responsible for investigating, prosecuting and bringing to judgment crimes against the financial interests of the EU.