Facts

Smugglers try to smuggle 300 bags full of cigarettes from Zakarpattia region to Slovakia

Three hundreds of bags full of cigarettes without excise labels have been found on a train carrying pellets to Slovakia, the official website of Hennadiy Moskal, the head of Zakarpattia Regional State Administration, reported on Saturday.

"All cigarettes were made in Belarus (Grodno tobacco factory Neman) […] The finding of the cigarettes indicates insufficient control on the Ukrainian-Belarusian border," the report says.

A criminal case has been opened.

Additionally, border guards have detained four citizens of Georgia who tried to enter the EU on the Slovak border. "They were detained and taken to an illegal migrants' center," the press service for Moskal has reported.

Moskal became head of Zakarpattia region's administration after the events in Mukacheve, where an exchange of fire involving people close to parliamentarian Mykhailo Lanio, local policemen, and members of the organization Right Sector (which is banned in Russia) took place on July 11. Various reports suggested that up to five people were killed and some 14 others injured in the skirmish.

According to Right Sector, the exchange of fire had been provoked by criminal elements led by Lanio, whose smuggling channel they had blocked.

At the same time, a number of media outlets reported that the conflict had been prompted by the desire to reshape the spheres of influence in patronizing contraband flows in the region, particularly those of cigarettes. One theory suggests that the Right Sector challenged a gang informally patronized by Lanio. According to another, the Right Sector acted with the same intentions but in parliamentarian Viktor Baloha's interests.

Moskal said on July 21 that the actions of the local Right Sector members who started firing in Mukacheve has been qualified as gangsterism and that a total of 13 people aged from 18 to 39 were under suspicion.

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