Anything to declare? 5 weird contraband items smuggled from Russia

A close-up of some of the 354 counterfeit Faberge eggs originating from Russia seized by French customs agents at Roissy Airport on Nov. 15, in Roissy, north of Paris, Tuesday, Dec. 14, 2010. French customs agents uncovered a nest of 354 bejeweled eggs on Nov. 15, and declared them counterfeit copies of the famed Faberge collection

A close-up of some of the 354 counterfeit Faberge eggs originating from Russia seized by French customs agents at Roissy Airport on Nov. 15, in Roissy, north of Paris, Tuesday, Dec. 14, 2010. French customs agents uncovered a nest of 354 bejeweled eggs on Nov. 15, and declared them counterfeit copies of the famed Faberge collection

AP
Forget drugs and weapons - some people try to evade Russian customs hiding far more extraordinary items.

1. A WWII tank

"The sly Russian citizen sold the tank to a client in Kazakhstan for 230,000 euros, but tried to export the war machine without filing the necessary paperwork to avoid paying tax." Igor Russak/RIA Novosti"The sly Russian citizen sold the tank to a client in Kazakhstan for 230,000 euros, but tried to export the war machine without filing the necessary paperwork to avoid paying tax." Igor Russak/RIA Novosti

On July 28 a Russian court turned down the appeal of a Moscow resident who received a three-year suspended prison sentence for attempting to smuggle a T-34-85 tank from Russia to Kazakhstan on a train. The sly Russian citizen sold the tank, which he had purchased earlier from Latvia for 20,000 euros, to a client in Kazakhstan for 230,000 euros, but tried to export the war machine without filing the necessary paperwork to avoid paying tax.

The man was detained near the Russian-Kazakh border and charged with smuggling an object of cultural value without permission from the authorities. The tank was also confiscated. Turned out his plan wasn’t bulletproof after all...

2. 350 fake Fabergé eggs

A close-up of some of the counterfeit Faberge eggs originating from Russia seized by French customs agents at the Roissy Airport. Source: APA close-up of some of the counterfeit Faberge eggs originating from Russia seized by French customs agents at the Roissy Airport. Source: AP

In December 2010, Charles de Gaulle Airport border control seized a mind blowing batch of Fabergé eggs. There were no more than 350 smuggled from Russia. Despite each egg displaying the seal of the Russian Royal Court, they were in fact fake: Not the most surprising conclusion considering that Carl Fabergé, the famous Russian jeweler, only made 71. So the unlucky smuggler was left with egg on his face...

3. Spare parts for the MiG and Su aircrafts

"The most daring attempt to sneak spare parts took place in 2016 by former employees of the Lipetsk air base." Source: Ramil Sitdikov/RIA Novosti"The most daring attempt to sneak spare parts took place in 2016 by former employees of the Lipetsk air base." Source: Ramil Sitdikov/RIA Novosti

Spare parts for military jets are a top choice for Russian-Ukrainian smugglers, judging by the frequency of news reports. There have been a number of attempts to smuggle spare parts for MiG jets from Russia to Ukraine -  arguably, the most daring attempt to sneak spare parts took place in 2016 by former employees of the Lipetsk air base, who had reportedly swiped 700 components from MiG-29s, Su-24s, and Su-25s and were preparing to sell them in Ukraine. Could someone have been trying to assemble a jet in his backyard in Ukraine?

4. Deer tails… 18 kilos of deer tails!

"In 2016 a load of some 18 kilos of deer tails (estimated to be worth 784,000 rubles/$13,000) was confiscated." Source: Nikolay Gyngazov/Global Look Press"In 2016 a load of some 18 kilos of deer tails (estimated to be worth 784,000 rubles/$13,000) was confiscated." Source: Nikolay Gyngazov/Global Look Press

In 2016, the city of Ussuriysk (8,000 km from Moscow) border services detained a Chinese citizen who attempted to smuggle 80 freshly cut deer tails (yes, you read that correctly) for Chinese ethnomedicine. A load of some 18 kilos (estimated to be worth 784,000 rubles/$13,000) was confiscated. The detained man said he intended to sell 78 tails and eat two himself. Oh dear.

5. 142 turtles and 28 lizards

"The detained contrabandist insisted that they were a present to her friend living in Vietnam." Source: Reuters"The detained contrabandist insisted that they were a present to her friend living in Vietnam." Source: Reuters

In March 2016, Domodedovo Airport border services stooped a woman who was carrying 170 reptiles in her luggage. The lady insisted that they were a present to her friend living in Vietnam. Perhaps she should have bought some matryoshkas dolls instead!

Read more: Bye Bye Lenin: The craziest stories of Soviet defectors>>>

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