Crime gang convicted of individuals smuggling in West Lothian (News)

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Arvids Civkors. Aivars Dzagarjan, Maris Kursis and Hardijs Langsteins

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Arvids Civkors. Aivars Dzagarjan, Maris Kursis and Hardijs Langsteins

4 males have been convicted of organised crime in West Lothian, together with individuals smuggling, cash laundering, and fraud.

They had been accused of bringing Latvian individuals into the UK between 2012 and 2016.

Edinburgh Sheriff Courtroom heard how victims had been housed in crowded situations, and a few had been compelled handy over their wages.

The boys will likely be sentenced at a later date.

Hardijs Langsteins, 37, from Salford; Maris Kursis , 30, from Falkirk; Arvids Civkors, 30, from Edinburgh and Aivars Dzagarjans, 38, from Forth, Northumberland had pleaded not responsible to the offences.

The 14 week trial heard how victims believed they’d be supplied employment, often inside an area warehouse in Bathgate, the place Civkors labored.

Some individuals had been compelled to give up their wages to the group. Others had been compelled below duress to open financial institution accounts which had been then used for cash laundering and fraud by the gang.

Det Ch Insp Stephen Healy mentioned: “All 4 of those males subjected their victims to threats, intimidation and coercion, leaving them in worry for his or her security and believing that they had been in debt to the group, forcing them handy over their financial institution accounts so as to repay them.

“The group then dedicated fraud and laundered the proceeds of those crimes by way of the accounts.

“This group actively focused weak Latvian nationals trying to come to the UK for a greater life and positioned them in crowded and squalid situations, exploiting them for revenue.

“I might additionally wish to thank all of these people who testified in opposition to Langsteins, Kursis, Dzagarjan and Civkors because it was their proof that helped safe their convictions.”

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