Latvian Companies Unite in the Fight against Organised Crime
At least 10 trade and production company warehouses in Latvia have been burglarized in the last two years. The stolen goods were worth tens of millions of euros. The companies, together with their partners, have decided to unite in order to draw both public and state institutions’ attention to organized crime, the impact it has on the market and similarities between the cases.
A total of seven Latvian companies have united, and other companies that have experienced large-scale burglaries in recent years have also been invited to respond. The companies that have been affected include IT product wholesalers ELKO Grupa AS, EURO DK SIA, IT product retailer Baltic Data SIA, PC vendor CMNO Logica SIA, IT product manufacturer Mikrotīkls SIA, electrical materials distributor SLO Latvia SIA and the transport and logistics service provider Beweship Latvia SIA.
"If we deal with our problems individually, we can’t see the bigger picture and are therefore powerless. It's like a three-headed dragon where three new heads grow in place of a severed one. You have to fight the dragon, not the heads. It was only when we started talking publicly about what had happened in our warehouse that others reached out, and we realized that we were not the only ones this had happened to. There are certain similarities in the information we have received that could help solve the crimes, as well as protect us against similar incidents in the future”, said Svens Dinsdorfs, ELKO Group CEO.
Most of the crimes are linked by the fact that the warehouse was in a remote location, and that the burglary happened in several stages: first, the security system was tested by breaking, for example, through a gate,; second, the burglars entered the building during working hours and damaged security cameras and sensors; finally, the break-in and burglary itself took place. In all cases, the crime had been carefully planned – the burglars were familiar with the security system and the location of specific products.
The companies, together with the following partners, are committed to not remaining silent and to discussing the market situation, the risks and possible solutions openly: the Latvian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Foreign Investors Council in Latvia, the American Chamber of Commerce in Latvia, the Latvian Computer Technology Association (LDTA) and the Latvian Exporters Association "The Red Jackets". Official letters to be sent to government representatives with the aim of raising the issue of organised crime and its impact on the economy are also being drafted. The letters aim to draw the attention of senior officials from relevant governmental institutions to the above-mentioned similarities in individual cases.