On 19 March the SRS officers when carrying out customs control measures at the airport "Riga" in freight coming from India detected white powder substance which according to the chemical expertise opinion of the Forensic Department of the State Police is almost 10 kilograms of 4-methylephedrone or mephedrone - prohibited psychotropic substance which is equalized to especially dangerous narcotic substances and was identified on international scale only in 2009. The SRS officers detected the smuggling case of mephedrone for the first time since its appearance.
When carrying out customs control measures on 19 March in the airport "Riga" the SRS officers focused their attention to freight coming from India - large plastic barrel, which according to submitted documents should have contained a chemical substance belonging to a group of heterocyclic compounds. However, based on long-term experience, the SRS officers suspected that the white powder substance in the barrel might be a prohibited narcotic or psychotropic substance.
The seized substance was sent for expertise to the Forensic Department of the State Police. The opinion received confirmed that that the white powder substance in the barrel is an especially dangerous narcotic substance - almost 10 kilograms (9996.5 g) of 4-methyephedrone or mephedrone. Mephedrone is a prohibited especially dangerous psychotropic substance which is equalized to especially dangerous narcotic substances with a stimulating effect, similar as of cocaine or ecstasy pills.
On 24 March the SRS Customs Criminal Investigation Board initiated a criminal procedure according to the elements of a criminal offence foreseen in Section 190.1 (2) on illegal movement of possibly narcotic or psychotropic substances across the state border of the Republic of Latvia.
When carrying out sanctioned investigation activities, on 9 April officers of the SRS Customs Criminal Investigation Board on the suspicion of organization of smuggling of 10 kilograms of mephedrone arrested 3 men in the age from 28 to 31 years, 2 of them being citizens of the Republic of Latvia and one citizen of the Republic of Estonia. To all the arrested persons the Riga City Centre District Court applied a security measure - detention. One of the detained citizens of Latvia is the owner of a company which was indicated as the freight recipient. The persons do not have a previous criminal record and they were not in the focus of the SRS Customs Criminal Investigation Boards.
In the course of the investigation officers of the SRS Customs Criminal Investigation Board conducted also several searches in offices and apartments in Riga. During the searches the SRS officers found and seized huge amount of plastic and cardboard packaging material, respirators, protection masks and professional digital scales intended for precise weighting of especially small amounts. Items found during searches, according to investigators of the SRS Customs Criminal Board, show that mephedrone was intended for prepacking for retail purposes. The SRS specialists also assume that mephedrone was intended for sale as in Latvia, as beyond its borders.
Specialists estimate that the retail price of 10 kilograms of mephedrone in the black market might be at least 80 000 lats or 8 lats per 1 gram. From 1 gram it is possible to make 8 doses.
When contacting foreign colleagues investigators of the SRS Customs Criminal Board have found out that the most widespread mephedrone is in the UK, Sweden and Russia. Most frequently it is sold in capsules or pills; however it might be sold as white powder as well. Mephedrone can be used as by swallowing it, snuffing it or through injection.
In the interests of investigation broader information will not be provided.
(2) For a person who commits the same acts, if the commission thereof is repeated, or where committed in a group of persons pursuant to prior agreement, or if such is committed on a large scale, - the applicable sentence is deprivation of liberty for a term up to 10 years, whih or without confiscation of property.
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