Harmony party member detained for importing 15 tonnes of illegal vodka to Latvia

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On the night to 1 June, Latvia’s State Police intercepted approximately 15 tonnes of contraband vodka. Ex-Saeima deputy candidate from Harmony Ziedonis Apariņš has been detained. This man, together with once Riga City Council deputy Sandris Bergmanis and ex-Saeima deputy Andris Morozovs, founded Latvian Transport Association, according to information from LETA.

State Police confirmed that a cargo 15 tonnes of contraband vodka lacking any excise tax labels was intercepted on 1 June. Two persons have been detained and a criminal process has been launched in accordance with Part 2 of 221 of the Criminal Law for illegal storage, movement and sale of alcoholic beverages and tobacco products.

Police report that an investigation is underway.

Morozovs, Bergmanis and Apariņš were candidates from Harmony in 12th Saeima elections. Only Morozovs was elected to the parliament. Bergmanis was later elected to Riga City Council.

All three of them, together with Lignum transport company owner Uldis Līviņš, founded Latvian Transport Association. Apariņš and Morozovs remain officials in the association. Bergmanis was an official there as well. Information from Firmas.lv shows that Latvian Transport Association worked with turnover of EUR 134 789 and losses worth EUR 687 last year.

Morozovs claimed knowing nothing about Apariņš’s possible detainment, adding that two of them have not communicated in recent years.
Morozovs explained that initially Apariņš had participated in the association’s work, because it was related to his private business at the time. However, his activity in the association’s work has declined over the years. According to Morozovs, Apariņš had exited from Harmony in 2015 or 2016. Since then, said Morozovs, the two of them have not communicated with one another.

Apariņš and Bergmanis were also officials in Stop Drugs association. This week, however, Bergmanis said he has not met with Apariņš since 2015.

«He was one of the volunteers in Stop Drugs. He helped fight against so-called spice-traders. However, once the group had accomplished its goal and ceased active operations, we stopped communicating with Apariņš,» said Bergmanis, adding he knows nothing as to what Apariņš is up to now or his possible detainment.

Apariņš also holds a post in the board of healthy lifestyle promotion association Spartaks. The association’s website notes that its main activities include organization of different sports games, as well as parties for children.

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