RUSSIA - Russian authorities have found a major meat smuggling channel between the EU and states in the Russian Customs Union.
A total of 7.5 million tonnes of pig eamt and fat has been smuggled into Kazakhstan from the EU through Belarus checkpoints using false Brazilian and Lithuanian veterinary certificates.
The Russian authorities said that a total of 254 heavy duty trucks had been used to convey illegal products often under the guise of other products through Kazakhstan.
One example was of two trucks that were stopped in Orenburg on 21 November containing pork products from Poland but that had entered the country labelled as frozen vegetables.
Officials that had been deployed in Lithuania, Kazakhstan and Belarus found that some pork products were entering into the country without having been seen by an inspector at the border point of Medininka.
At the Belarussian border crossing of Kamenny Log products were found with a second set of documents and were registered as Brazilian on false certificates having been reloaded in Lithuania.
The Russian authorities said that a total of 254 consignments has passed through the Belarus crossing unchecked and they were followed through to Kazakhstan where they went onto the market.
The final delivery point in Kazakhstan was Uralsk located in West Kazakhstan and close to the Saratov, Orenburg and Samara regions of Russia.
The Russian veterinary authority Rosselkhoznador said that Uralsk is about 60km from the Russian-Kazakh border administration point and the delivery of goods to the administrative centres of the Volga, Central, Southern, Ural and the Siberian federal district takes anything from a few hours to two days.
Rosselkhoznador said that a total of 110,000 tonnes of meat products ha d slipped through the Kazakhstan inspection net.
Rosselkhoznador said it is working with the authorities in Kazakhstan and Belarus to tighten the controls on the borders to prevent further smuggling.
TheMeatSite News Desk