LITHUANIA: Customs officers in Lithuania are said to have seized nearly 1,200 cylinders of illegal refrigerant since the beginning of June.
While the European Commission continues to insist that the level of illegal trade is insignificant, Lithuanian customs officials have recorded at least 12 attempts to illegally import smaller or larger quantities of gas from Belarus or Russia in June alone.
In total, nearly 1,200 tanks have been detained, worth about €50,000. Officials call it “seasonal” smuggling, which, they say, is increasing every year during the summer.
The biggest seizure was in Vilnius, where customs officers seized 1,150 cylinders, valued at €49,207. Most of the cylinders, however, are coming in small quantities of one or two cylinders in trucks. On June 14, for instance, two 11.3kg cylinders of illegal R410A were discovered in two separate trucks at the customs post in Medininkai on the Belarusian border. This week, a Russian Scania truck was stopped in Kybartai and found to be carrying two disposable cylinders of R404A.
Last year it was estimated that the illegal trade had cost the Lithuanian exchequer up to €5m.