Lietuva in brief - 2008-08-13

  • 2008-08-13
Police have found one kilogram of heroin on a train from Russia intended to reach the Romany settlement on the outskirts of Vilnius, which is known as the country's largest drug-use spot. According to a police report, one kilogram of heroin can be divided into approximately 14,000 doses, each of which can be sold for 30 to 50 litas (8.7 to 14.5 euros) each. Selling that amount of heroin would have generated income of 420,000 to 700,000 litas (126,348 to 210,580 euros). A police department press release stated that the heroin shipment was the largest amount of this type of drug intended for dealing in Lithuania seized this year. The suspects now face 10 to 15 years in prison for unlawful possession and smuggling of a very large amount of a narcotic substance. Lithuanian law considers quantities of 10 grams or more to be very large amounts of a narcotic substance.

Lithuanian prosecutors have started an investigation into the anti-Semitic and nationalist slogans on the Web site of the United Lithuanian National Workers' Movement. The probe was opened following media reports about the information contained on the Web site of the organization, which is headed by Mindaugas Murza. "We believe the information published on the Web site contains features of criminal acts. Therefore, we have launched an investigation," the acting senior prosecutor of the special investigations division, Alvydas Valiukevicius, said. Valiukevicius said he was not previously aware of the Web site and could not comment, although the Web site has been online for a few months and has been translated into six languages. The Web site contains numerous allusions to nationalist organizations. It also commends Nazi leaders and Nazi ideology, applauding racial and national consciousness in the nation. The Lithuanian criminal code stipulates a fine or up to two years in prison for such crimes. International law specialist Dainius Zalimas described members of the organization as Nazis, noting that some of the ideological provisions of the organization had been simply copied from Adolf Hitler.

The number of births and marriages will increase this year in the Vilnius district, according to the Lithuanian Statistics Department. In the first six months of 2008, 4,610 babies were born in Vilnius, 406 more than during the same period last year. The newborns in the Vilnius district comprised over one-quarter of all Lithuanian births. The most births in the first six months (3,154) occurred in the city of Vilnius, while the fewest new births (78) were registered in Sirvintos district, in the northern vicinity of Vilnius. The number of deaths dropped in the first half of this year to 5,316, 410 fewer than the same period last year. Despite these figures the "natural increase" (the difference between the number of live births and the number of deaths) in the Vilnius district remains negative at -706 (the figure was -1522 during the months of Jan. through June 2007). A positive natural increase has been registered only in Vilnius City, where the figure is 176. Some 178 more couples joined in wedlock over the six months of this year than during the same period last year. The number of divorces decreased by 51. A total of 8,910 couples got married in all of Lithuania over the first half of this year, with 5,144 couples getting divorced. Some 2,412 of those couples wedded in the Vilnius district, with 1,393 divorce cases registered there as well.