Trans-border criminality improves schemes of illegal activity all the time. In response to new challenges officers of law-enforcement agencies (including Customs) put into practice more and more efficient methods of operational investigations.
Relying on operational information officers of the customs check point “Bendery (Chisinau)” (Pridnestrovian-Moldavian border) stopped a cargo minibus heading to Pridnestrovie from the Republic of Moldova. This vehicle was indicated in information paper about means of transport suspected of involving in smuggling activities. The driver of the minibus had previously been captured by customs officers for customs offences.
During examination of the vehicle besides empty cartons for fruits and vegetables 7 metal tanks built in sidewalls of the cargo compartment of the minibus were detected. They contained about 700 liters of alcohol. Hiding places were equipped with discharge system and ventilation masked as illuminator.
As operative officers comment, the detained minibus was identified to be one of the links of sustained chain for smuggling alcohol from Moldova to Ukraine in transit through Pridnestrovie. We remind that in this July the vehicle has been already detected by customs officers at the same site and circumstances, and with an attempt of bribery. All the facts provide grounds to believe in a steady group of persons involving into alcohol traffic including residents of Moldova, Ukraine, and Pridnestrovie. Due to the price difference (1 liter of ethyl alcohol costs about 70 cents in Moldova and up to 2 USD in Ukraine), the profit of such illegal commerce increases manifold.
Legalization of this alcohol business is the task set before operative units of the State Customs Committee and other law-enforcement agencies of the Republic. The administrative investigation of the detected incident is ongoing.