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  Thursday, September 19, 2019
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Transport police in western Russia have "intercepted the activities" of the criminal ring
Transport police in western Russia have "intercepted the activities" of the criminal ring engaging in the smuggling of large quantities of excisable goods without paying customs dues. "The backbone of the group with international links was made up of customs agents, who organized a scheme for a stable contraband channel to ferry cargoes," transport police in Russia's westernmost Kaliningrad province told. Goods came to Kaliningrad from Poland, Lithuania, German and other countries allegedly for use in the province only. However, they then were ferried through the port of Baltiysk in caches hidden in trucks. The cargoes were declared as products of Russian origin which exempted them from customs duties. The economic damage to the state from the group's activities is estimated at one million roubles. The criminal group has been operating since the end of 2005. A search in the apartments of some of the group's members found fake seals of fly-by-night firms, and customs and law-enforcement bodies, as well as weapons and ammunition and forged documents. A criminal case has been opened. "Several members of the criminal ring have already been placed under arrest. Police are taking measures to establish their accomplices, foremost among law-enforcement personnel," according to transport police.
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