Latvian State Border Guard Stop a Latvian Travel Agency arranging “fictitious” tourist visas to Europe for Uzbek citizens

Latvian State Border Guards in cooperation with the Police and State Revenue Service detained a Latvian citizen, who was the chairman of a travel agency, providing third-country nationals with the opportunity to legally reside in the Republic of Latvia and other European Union Member States and the Swiss Confederation.

Criminal proceedings initiated in 2019 after the second part of Article 285.2 of the Criminal Law on providing non EU nationals with the possibility to legally acquire the right to reside in the Latvia, other European Union Member States or Swiss Confederation. It was established that a man, in the course of his illegal occupation, had issued invitations to not less than 1,375 citizens of the Republic of Uzbekistan, of whom not less than 1,055 received visas for the Republic of Latvia, and not less than 301 Uzbek citizens visas to reach Sweden, where they applied for asylum.

Also, on March 2, law enforcement officers conducted several searches in Riga and Liepaja in connection with the pre-trial investigation in criminal proceedings, during which data carriers, large amounts of cash and documents were seized. The offender has been recognized as a suspect in the commission of a criminal offense and has been subjected to non-custodial measures.