LTG’s tighter rules against smuggling pay off, tens of wagons seized
LTG Cargo seized 30 wagons loaded with products from Lukoil, a Russian energy company. The cargo was captured before it entered the Russian exclave Kaliningrad. Since last week, the Lithuanian company has been enforcing stricter regulations to try and prevent the smuggling of sanctioned goods.
In the night between 7 and 8 March, 25 Lukoil wagons were stopped before entering Kaliningrad and sent back to Belarus. The wagons were labelled as transit cargo but were destined for exports, as Edvinas Kerza, business resilience director at LTG told Lithuanian media. Lukoil is currently not included among the Russian companies sanctioned by the EU, but trying to export cargo from Kaliningrad is.
Kerza added that seven more wagons were seized on the same night in Marijampole and were also sent back to Belarus. All the detained cargo passed through the Kena border crossing. Kerza added that three more wagons have been detained on the Lithuanian border with Belarus but a decision is still pending.
LTG Cargo’s new rules
Since the beginning of March, LTG Cargo’s customers must provide additional documentation concerning cargo transported on the broad gauge in advance. As LTG Cargo explained, part of the cargo information was collected and checked only after it entered Lithuania. From now on, the amount of information provided at the approval stage will significantly expand, making it easier to identify possible violations.
The company claims it is ready to keep suspending shipments if there is any suspicion of attempts to smuggle illegal goods or if customers refuse to provide additional documents. Moreover, in mid-February, the country decided to close the Stasylos-Byenyakoni rail border crossing with Belarus. This was because of increasing discoveries of illegal cargo being transported via Lithuania to the Russian exclave Kaliningrad. This decision was justified by the absence of proper X-ray checking devices at the site.
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