SLOVAK customs officers found smuggled cigarettes on a train at Maťovce on the Ukrainian border on September 14, making this the first discovery of contraband since the resumption of operation of freight train inspection scanning. Ukrainian revenue stamps were on the 600 cartons of cigarettes packed in black plastic bags which were discovered under a pile of iron following a thorough inspection of one of the freight cars, the SITA newswire reported.
According to Klára Baloghová of the customs office department in Michalovce, tax and customs duty on the cigarettes would have been in excess of €14,764.
The use of this scanning device was stopped due to pressure from the Ukrainian railway company on August 18. The scanner was alleged to be a danger to the health of Ukrainian locomotive engineers. This was the official reason for the blocking of freight trains to Slovakia containing raw materials for Slovak companies.
However the device has been switched back on after almost a month based on an agreement made between Slovakia and Ukraine in which the engine cars and the first two freight cars on trains are to be inspected manually.
An independent study by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will make a binding decision on dispute.
5. Oct 2009 at 0:00 | Compiled by Spectator staff