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Estonian tax office: Attempts made to violate Russian sanctions every week

The border checkpoint on the Russian side of the Narva-Ivangorod border crossing.
The border checkpoint on the Russian side of the Narva-Ivangorod border crossing. Source: Sergei Stepanov/ERR

Approximately 20 attempts are made to break Russian sanctions every week at Estonia's borders, the Tax and Customs Board (MTA) said on Monday.

Evening news show "Akuaalne kaamera" (AK) reported MTA employees are working hard to prevent sanctioned goods from crossing the Russian-Estonian border.

Currently, more than a dozen violations are reported every week at the Narva, Luhamaa and Koidula crossing points.

Attempts have been made to move goods, such as processed wood, furniture and motor oil, over the border.

The agency said these are "deliberate" violations and they can be prevented by thoroughly inspecting all cargo.

"Either they are trying to smuggle something over the border without concealing it, or they are using double documents, fake documents, which we have already detected quite a lot here and procedures have been initiated," Ants Kutti, MTA's external border area manager, told AK. "We can see deliberate action and manipulation to somehow evade sanctions."

Kutti said the inspections are being conducted and the agency compares goods with commodity codes. "It's a very important job and quite a difficult job," he said.

The European Union applied sanctions to Russia after the country launched its full-scale war against Ukraine in February.

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Editor: Barbara Oja, Helen Wright

Source: Aktuaalne kaamera

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