Over 500 people tried to cross the Latvian border illegally in 2015, Normunds Garbars, the head of the Latvian State Border Guard, said in an interview with LNT commercial TV channel Monday.
The chief of the Latvian border guard service said that the end of the summer had been the most critical period, which was followed by a relatively quieter period, but that 24 illegal immigrants were detained again last week.
Most of the illegal migrants are Vietnamese citizens who want to get to Poland.
Police in late November busted three illegal marijuana farms in Latvia, as well as seized 12 kilograms of prepared narcotics, more than 30 kilograms of plants, and several weapons, Andrejs Grisins, the head of the Latvian criminal police, told journalists Tuesday.
The law enforcement authorities also made eight arrests in connection with the case, the police official said.
He indicated that two large marijuana farms were discovered in the eastern Latvian region of Latgale, one of which had been set up in an abandoned two-floor building which the criminals had bought specially for growing marijuana.
The third marijuana farm was uncovered under a garage floor in Riga.
The group of criminals nabbed by the police includes the grower who together with an accomplice tended the marijuana plants. Police also detained a person who had invested money in the farms and a person who organized the selling of the narcotics. The suspects detained in connection with the case are 40 to 50 years old.
Police also seized cash, five various weapons, including a submachine gun with a silencer, and some 1,500 plants during searches.
Swine flu spreads
African swine fever (ASF) has kept spreading in Latvia as 55 wild boars tested positive for the infection between Nov. 26 and December, according to information posted on the Food and Veterinary Service’s (PVD) website.
So far this year, PVD has found ASF in 944 wild boars in 171 districts in the territory of 48 municipalities as well as in one town in eastern Latvia. The total number of confirmed ASF cases in wild boars in Latvia since June 2014 is 1,161.
The last time a domestic pig tested positive for ASF in Latvia was on Sept. 9, 2015.
ASF is an extremely dangerous and contagious virus infection affecting pigs. If an infected pig is found in a farm, all pigs in the particular farm have to be culled, which means big losses for farmers.