Latvian mother victim of ‘professional hit’ in Dublin

Police in suburban Dublin are searching for two men believed to be involved in an apparent murder-for-hire of a Latvian mother of two, according to Irish media.

Baiba Saulīte, 28, was shot three times around 9:45 p.m. Nov. 19 as she was smoking cigarettes with two or three friends on the doorstep of her north County Dublin home, the Irish Independent and the Irish Times reported Nov. 21. Saulīte’s two sons, ages 3 and 5, were asleep inside.

Saulīte died at the scene, said the press office of the Garda—the Irish police.

Police described the shooting as a “professional hit,” Irish media reported, and are considering that her murder may have been tied to personal difficulties she has been facing. Her husband, a Lebanese named Hassan Hassan, is serving a four-year sentence in an Irish prison for his connections to a scheme involving stolen automobiles. And her two sons were abducted in December 2004 and taken to be with relatives in Lebanon and Syria before being returned to Saulīte in Ireland.

Saulīte’s profile on the Latvian social network suggested recent days had been happy ones, including time spent with her children visiting holiday exhibits. Some of the photographs show a smiling Saulīte at the door to her home.

Her killing made front page news in several Irish newspapers. On Radio Telefis Éireann, Saulīte’s death prompted wider discussion of crime in Ireland.

According to the Irish police, a lone gunman approached Saulīte while she was visiting with friends at her home in north Dublin. He shot her three times and then got in an automobile driven by an accomplice.

A burned-out black BMW automobile was later found in Kinsealy in County Dublin. Police are investigating whether this is the same vehicle used in the murder.

Police were making house-to-house inquiries in the Swords neighborhood of northern Dublin, Radio Telefis Éireann reported Nov. 21. The broadcaster also reported that Saulīte’s solicitor was under police protection.

Saulīte’s family from Latvia was scheduled to arrive in Ireland on Nov. 21. As soon as her body is released by the coroner’s office, the Embassy of Latvia and an Irish funeral fund will help make arrangements to return Saulīte’s remains to Latvia, Ivars Lasis, first secretary in the embassy, told Latvians Online via e-mail.

Anyone with information on the case is asked to telephone the Swords Garda Station at (+353) 1-6664700. The police especially are looking for assistance from the Latvian community, according to Radio Telefis Éireann.

Irish Times

The Irish Times in its Nov. 21 issue gives front-page coverage to the murder of Baiba Saulīte, running a photo of her body being removed from her north Dublin home. Other Irish newspapers also gave prominent coverage to the case.

Andris Straumanis is a special correspondent for and a co-founder of Latvians Online. From 2000–2012 he was editor of the website.

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