Everything in accordance with the law in the Calovskis affair - U.S. ambassador

In an interview on Latvian Radio 4 today, United States Ambassador to Latvia Mark Pekala said that everything is in accordance with the law in the Deniss Calovskis affair, who has been charged with cyber crimes in the United States.

Dissociating himself from the specific case, the diplomat said that cyber-crimes are highly serious, as viruses continue to de developed which effect millions of individuals and lead to tens of millions in losses. According to Pekala, everything must be done to to prevent such crimes taking place in the future.

As reported, the Latvian Supreme Court ruled on January 31 that Calovskis, accused by the United States of cyber-theft, should be extradited to the U.S. for prosecution.

The ruling cannot be appealed, while the final decision on Calovskis' extradition is to be made by the Cabinet of Ministers. If the government decided to extradite, he could face a maximum sentence of 60 years in prison in the United States.

Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics (Reform Party) previously said that he believes that there is no reason for Latvia to extradite Calovskis. The minister believes that extradition of Latvian citizens to other countries should only be considered if there are sufficient reasons justifying this. Based on the available information, he should not be extradited, believes Rinkevics.

LETA also reported, U.S. law enforcement have announced charges against three alleged East European cyber thieves accused of stealing banking information from computers across Europe and the United States, including Calovskis, a resident of Latvia.

The alleged international cyber criminals were responsible for creating and distributing a computer virus that infected over one million computers - at least 40,000 of which were in the United States - and caused millions in losses by, among other things, stealing online banking credentials, the federal prosecutor's office in Manhattan said.

The defendants allegedly used a malicious computer code or malware dubbed the "Gozi Virus" to hack into bank accounts and "steal millions of dollars," stated the indictment against Calovskis, also known as "Miami", who was arrested in Latvia.

Prosecutors say the scam unfolded between 2005 and March 2012 and that the virus was "virtually undetectable in the computers it infected." First, it was implanted in computers across Europe "on a vast scale," then around 2010 it spread to the United States, the Calovskis indictment said.