Eight people have been detained in the Latvian town of Ventspils on suspicion of stealing 36 tons of diesel fuel from the Polotsk-Ventspils pipeline. Officers from the State Police’s Criminal Investigation Department, in cooperation with other State Police structures and the Latrsotrans Ltd. security company, detained the suspects. Four of the persons were caught at the scene of the crime. Police determined that a five kilometer long tube was used to draw out the diesel fuel. The tube was connected to a truck, which was used to transport the fuel. The group was able to steal 36 tons of diesel fuel in total, worth approximately 30,000 lats, LETA was informed by State Police spokeswoman Sintija Virse. Police later detained four more suspects who were likely involved. The police have launched a criminal investigation into the incident.
Around 60 employees of the Latvian Infectious Diseases Center and their supporters held a rally at the Cabinet of Ministers building today to protest against the plan to reorganize the center, LETA reports. The protesters called for the resignation of Health Minister Ingrida Circene (Unity). The protesters said they wanted to know why the Infectious Diseases Center was being reorganized so hastily, what is the economic justification for the reorganization, and how many employees of the center will lose their jobs. Cipule said that all medical staff would remain, but no such guarantee could be offered to the other employees, for instance, from the administrative department. She also said that the money saved in reorganization would be shunted to health care. The Infectious Diseases Center’s trade union previously said that there were no arguments for reorganization of the center, and that defamatory statements were being made about the center’s performance. Cipule said in a statement to the media that the reorganization of the Infectious Diseases Center was in the interest of not only patients but the entire society, and that the reorganization plan was in line with the World Health Organization’s recommendations. The Infectious Diseases Center is to be reorganized by April 1 this year.