Головна Horticulture Grain Russia organized large-scale smuggling of grain from Ukraine

Russia organized large-scale smuggling of grain from Ukraine

Черга вантажівок із зерном на прикордонному пункті у Чонгарі, 17 червня 2022 року. Фото Planet Labs

Russia organized a large-scale smuggling operation to sell grain stolen in Ukraine with the participation of about 30 vessels. As a result, the Kremlin probably received about $530 million, which went to military spending. Forged documents are used in the export schemes, as well as secret movements of goods from ship to ship.

This is evidenced by the results of an investigation conducted by the Associated Press (AP), reports “ProAgro Group” with reference to Obozrevatel.

According to AP, satellite images and data from marine radio transmitters helped to track 30 ships that made more than 50 voyages with stolen grain in Ukraine. They carried the food from Russian-occupied areas to ports in Turkey, Syria, Lebanon and other countries, using fake declarations and ship-changing techniques.

The scheme involves “wealthy businessmen and state companies from Russia and Syria”, the agency notes. At the same time, some of the defendants have already faced financial sanctions from the US and the EU.

As explained by the CEO of the maritime data analysis company Winward Ami Daniel, smugglers often falsify transport manifests and customs declarations to hide the true origin of goods. According to him, such actions are a clear signal that illegal trade is taking place.

“Falsification of documentation is a tactic used by criminals to conceal the origin of the goods they are transporting, whether to evade sanctions, smuggle illicit goods or commit other crimes,” Daniel said.

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