Moscow airports have introduced increased controls over the importation of expensive jewelry

The Federal Customs Service has become “more rigorous” in monitoring attempts to illegally import expensive jewelry by passengers flying to Moscow from abroad, employees of two Moscow airports told VPost. “Customs officers underwent additional training – they were told about the brands of expensive “jewelry” and how to distinguish an expensive item from jewelry, and a new one from “worn out” – says one of the VPost interlocutors. The security officer on Sheremetyevo also knows that “Passengers with decorations get shaken harder.” If one or two such smugglers were arrested in the green corridor for half a year until 2022, now someone is found every week, he says. In his opinion, this is due to the massive importation of items from luxury European and American jewelry houses, the official delivery of which has been banned by sanctions since last spring.

“It’s no secret that everything from Tiffany silver to gold diamonds from Cartier, Graff, Bulgari and other Russian-loved brands now find their way to Russia in the personal luggage of buyers and their proxies,” confirms a Kyrgyzstan entrepreneur who deals with such a business. This week, she personally brought a pair of trendy gold rings and nail bracelets from Cartier to Moscow on behalf of her clients. There is a risk of trouble at customs, the VPost interlocutor admits, but what can not be done for a dream job – two years ago she was forced to sit in the office all day and do boring work, and now the supply of Russians with luxury items allows her to travel around European capitals in status favorite client of the best fashion houses.

VPost has not yet received a comment from the FCS, but its press service is increasingly reporting the capture of smugglers with expensive jewelry at Moscow airports. For example, today the department reported that customs officers from Sheremetyevo stopped the smuggling of Bulgari products worth 5 million rubles. They were found in the hand luggage of a Chinese citizen who flew in from Shanghai. She was stopped in the green corridor and asked to show the jewelry. She took out the boxes with the ring and snake earrings from her purse, saying that they were her personal jewelry. Customs officers sent them for inspection, which showed that they were new gold products with diamonds, sapphires and emeralds. Now the passenger is facing a criminal case for smuggling.

And a week ago, customs officers in Domodedovo found in the green corridor a Russian woman who flew from the United Arab Emirates, an undeclared watch, a Cartier bracelet and a ring, as well as Graff earrings with 3-carat diamonds. The story is similar: the lady claimed to be importing inexpensive personal jewelry, but the examination showed that it was new jewelry worth 7.5 million rubles. And according to the law, she had to pay a fee of 2 million rubles for them. “The initiation of criminal cases for smuggling and duty evasion is being resolved,” the FCS said.

The penalty for undeclared imports of goods over €10,000 is confiscation plus a fine of 50-200% of the value of the goods. But for duty evasion of more than 2 million rubles. faces two years in prison, and more than 6 million – five years. For the smuggling of watches and jewelry with precious stones more than 1 million rubles. the punishment is more severe – imprisonment for 3-7 years with a fine of up to 1 million rubles.


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