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Border guards intercept $880,000 worth of smuggled cigarettes

by Nate Ostiller November 30, 2023 9:05 AM 1 min read
Smuggled cigarettes intercepted by Ukraine's State Border Guard on Nov. 29, 2023 at the Reni port on the Black Sea. (State Border Guard of Ukraine/Facebook)
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Ukraine's State Border Guard intercepted an illegal shipment of smuggled cigarettes on Nov. 29 at the Danube port of Reni worth Hr 32 million ($880,000).

The illegal cargo, which originated from an unnamed country in Asia, consisted of more than 400,000 packs of cigarettes.

The border guard said the investigation was ongoing.

Russia's war against Ukraine has not stopped the smuggling of illegal goods in and out of Ukraine's Black Sea ports.

Due to Russia's blockade of the Black Sea, the transit of ships has slowed to a fraction of the pre-war figure, and the Danube River has become an increasingly important trade route.

Ukraine's Bureau of Economic Security said on Nov. 16 that more than 20% of grain exported in the past nine months went through black market channels, estimated at a total value of Hr 144 billion ($3.9 billion).

Through the use of falsified documents, shell companies, and cash payments, the black market grain can be transported unbeknownst to the Ukrainian government, also denying it much-needed tax revenue.

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