The pilgrim turned out to be a smuggler: a record batch of cigarettes worth 6 million hryvnias was seized in Transcarpathia (photo)

Transcarpathian customs officers detained a bus driver who intended to transport a smuggled batch of cigarettes worth 6 million hryvnias to EU countries.

As reported by the customs service, more than 300 packs of cigarettes were taken out by Transcarpathian customs officials at the Astei checkpoint from the interior of a bus on the Ukrainian-Hungarian border. The bus driver was said to be transporting pilgrims to Europe.

Searching inspectors found 150,480 packs of filter cigarettes without an excise label of Ukraine in specially made storage and caches around the entire perimeter of the bus cabin.

Cigarettes were in the floor, cab side panels, ceiling and cabin air system cavities.

Also read: Smuggling from Russia worth 93 million hryvnias: a large batch of Russian metal was seized

Customs officials had to dismantle the seats, decorative flooring and special plywood flooring, ceilings and side walls to get to such “brazen” contraband.

The driver was issued a protocol for violation of the customs rules under part 1. Article 483 of the Customs Code of Ukraine Sanctions provide for the imposition of a fine in the amount of 100% of the value of the objects of the crime and their confiscation together with the vehicle used to move the goods hidden in the caches.

The estimated value of smuggled cigarettes is 6 million UAH. The MAN bus, previously valued at almost UAH 915,000, was also confiscated pending a court decision.

Also read: Bypassing sanctions: which country smuggles components for the production of missiles to Russia


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