VDD is the only one out of three Latvian security and intelligence services, which is authorised to conduct a pre-trial investigation. VDD authorised officers investigate criminal offences related to the constitutional order or the ones committed within the security and intelligence services. VDD can also investigate other criminal offences within the scope of its competences as well as in cases the investigation is ordered by the Prosecutor General.
The primary criminal offences investigated by VDD within its scope of competences are:
- dissemination of state secret;
- activity aimed at overthrowing the state authority; uniting in organisations with the aim to overthrow the state authority of the Republic of Latvia; incitement to violently overthrow the state authority of the Republic of Latvia as established by the Constitution, or to violently change the political system; incitement to destroy the independence of the state, or incitement to destroy its territorial integrity;
- unlawful engagement in armed conflicts, financing of armed conflict, recruitment, training and sending to the place of armed conflict;
- terrorism, financing of terrorism, incitement to terrorism and terrorism threats, recruitment and training for the commitment of acts of terror;
- crimes against humanity and peace, genocide, incitement to genocide; public denial or acquittal of committed genocide, crime against humanity, crime against peace as well as war crime;
- establishment of a criminal organisation with the purpose to commit especially serious crimes against humanity or peace, war crimes, to commit genocide or to commit especially serious crimes against the state, as well as for involvement in such an organisation;
- hindrance of the exercise of the right to vote, the right to participate in initiation of legislation, initiation of national referendums and supporting of the European citizens’ initiative; falsification of signature collection, election and national referendum documents, miscount of votes and violation of the right of secret ballot;
- violation of sanctions imposed by international organisations;
- movement of goods and substances the circulation of which is prohibited or specially regulated across the state border of the Republic of Latvia.
VDD officers also engage in international investigation teams and carry out necessary actions within the request for legal assistance.