VARIETY PACK: In one of the biggest hauls of the year, police uncovered a cache â€“ valued at 224,000 lats â€“ that included 23,000 ecstacy tablets as well as substantial amounts of cocaine, marijuana, LSD and amphetamines.
RIGA - State Police uncovered a large cache of drugs during their most recent operation, which took place Sept. 12 - 13.
Police found a total of 12 kilos of various types of narcotics, the total street value of which is estimated to be more than 224,000 lats (318,725 euros).
"It is certainly one of the biggest [drug bust operations] of the year," the police press department said.
The press department explained that the suspects had been under surveillance for some time, and that the police were well prepared for the operation.
"It was a full operation, not just a simple raid. It was quite a long-term project and we are just now seeing the results," the department said.
The bust was planned by the Organized Crime Enforcement Department in cooperation with the Latvian Customs Criminal Board. Authorities believe that the gang was planning to sell the drugs to other dealers in Latvia and that there was a possibility it had ties with other organized crime.
In total, the confiscated drugs amounted to about 2 kilograms of cocaine, 3.7 kilograms of marijuana, 5.8 kilograms 's more than 23,000 tablets 's of MDMA (the active ingredient in ecstasy, a popular club drug in Latvia), 128 doses of LSD and nearly a half kilogram of amphetamines.
The police detained five people on suspicion of purchasing and storing narcotic and hallucinogenic substances with the intent to distribute. Of the five suspects 's four men born 1969, 1970, 1978 and 1983, and one woman born 1965 's only the two oldest remain in custody. The other three are under police supervision.
A criminal procedure has been initiated against the suspects. If found guilty of purchasing and selling drugs as part of a criminal group, they face sentences of eight to 15 years in prison.
This is the second sizable drug bust this month in Latvia. In early September, state police apprehended another criminal group involved in the wholesale trade of narcotics. That operation uncovered a cache of drugs in the Zemgale region that was valued at approximately 14,000 lats.