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Cigarettes smuggled in by balloon

Officers from the Podlaskie Branch of the Polish Border Guard prevented the smuggling of illegal tobacco products across the Polish-Belarusian border using balloons.

Officers from the Border Guard Post in Kuźnica discovered a balloon with tobacco products attached, near the town of Poniatowicze (Sokółka County). The package contained 500 packs of cigarettes without Polish excise stamps, worth over PLN 8,000. zloty.

A similar event also took place a few days earlier on the section protected by the Border Guard Post in Płaska. There, there were also attempts to smuggle cigarettes with an estimated value of over PLN 8,000 across the Polish-Belarusian border by balloon. zloty.

Smugglers take advantage of appropriate weather conditions, especially the wind blowing towards Poland, and release balloons with loads of cigarettes attached. Based on the strength and direction of the wind, they estimate the location of the balloons’ potential landing.  Border Guard officers identified the persons involved in sending and receiving illegal shipments.

Border security on the Polish-Belarusian border, including physical and electronic barriers, has resulted in smugglers constantly looking for new ways to smuggle illegal tobacco products.