Lithuanian border guards took over an unmanned aircraft that had arrived from Belarus, carrying a cargo of smuggled cigarettes

At midnight from Thursday to Friday, the officers of the Varvėnai firewall of the SBGS Varėna border team patrolled the village of Versekėlė in Šalčininkai district, near the border with Belarus. The border guards heard suspicious sounds in the dark. These are usually emitted by drones.

The object itself was soon spotted – it was captured by patrols on night vision equipment.

SBGS officers used a portable unmanned aerial vehicle interception system, successfully took control of the aircraft and forcibly landed it.

It turned out that a bundle of 250 packets of NZ Gold cigarettes with Belarusian stamps was attached to a drone of an as yet unidentified brand. The value of these smokers, including taxes payable in Lithuania, is about 750 euros. The value of the intercepted aircraft will be determined later.

SBGS officials inspected the surrounding areas. The person who controlled the drone was not found.

The border guards investigating the incident have initiated administrative proceedings for violating the established procedure in connection with the movement of excisable goods.

This is not the first time this year that the officers of the Varėna border team have stopped illegal unmanned flights after using special antidron equipment. For example, in March, an illegal aircraft and a cargo of smuggled cigarettes attached to it were taken over by Triboni firewall officials. This time, the expensive drone “DJI Matrice 600 Pro” and 300 packs of smokers, which cost almost one and a half thousand euros, fell into the hands of border guards.

In addition, this year there have been three cases when the border guards of the Varėna team used special equipment against the Lithuanian side, it is suspected that the drones that had just arrived and fell on the Belarusian side near the border.