Riga City Council has closed several youth hostels in the capital, as confirmed by Riga Mayor MÄrtiÅÅ¡ StaÄ·is on Twitter.
He says that the use of apartments 7, 9 and 19 in the building on Marijas Street 1 is no longer allowed after a joint raid by the Riga Municipal Police and the construction office.
Illegal fireplaces have been installed in these apartments. The administrative procedures have started.
StaÄ·is adds that an inspection of the hostel located on Martas Street has also started.
LTV reported on April 29 that the first two places visited by police and construction experts were two illegal hostels located on Marijas Street. According to the databases, the two apartments in question were owned by the same people who owned the hostel that caught fire in MerÄ·eÄ¼aa Street – businessman Adnrejs Gailis, who was arrested on Wednesday, and SIA Hotels and Apartments.
There is also an apartment on the same floor. This apartment belongs to the owner of the driving school Vanags Dainis UzuliÅÅ¡.
His driving school is located in the same building and the apartment in question housed the illegal hostel Marija.
During the raid, police and construction experts found several tenants – Ukrainian and Indian citizens. In the room where the Indian tenants were staying, police also found a package similar to the one that usually contains marijuana. According to one of the tenants, there was “some 7-8g of stuff,” LTV reports.
Riga City Construction Inspectorate Deputy Head Aija MeÄ¼Åikova said in three cases experts found improper use of living space.
From now on, the city police will be monitoring the apartments to ensure that they are no longer used to house illegal hostels.
Raids will continue and the construction office has information on at least nine other illegal hostels. It is entirely possible that their numbers will increase as the raids continue.
BNN previously reported that eight people died in a fire at an illegal hostel on MerÄ·eÄ¼a 8 Street. Firefighters managed to evacuate 24 people. Six were hospitalized.
To prevent tragic accidents like this from happening again in illegal homes or clubs, the Riga City Council has set up a special inter-institutional working group. This group consists of representatives of the Ministry of the Interior, the State Police, the National Fire and Rescue Service, the Emergency Medical Service, the National Revenue Service, the Health Inspectorate , Riga Municipal Police and other municipal institutions.