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The strange case of “refrigerant” smuggling

ROMANIA: The customs authority in Romania is looking in to a mysterious case of smuggling involving a shipment declared as refrigerant that was actually found to be something else.

While Romania continues to be a focus for the transit of illegal refrigerant into Europe, this latest case spins those incidents on their head.

Instead of coming into Romania from Ukraine, this “refrigerant” shipment was crossing the other way. It was discovered during a routine check on a truck at the border crossing in Halmeu, on the border with Ukraine in northern Romania. 

The truck was loaded with 21 cylinders which, according to the presented customs documents, should have comprised 23,890kg of refrigerant.

The goods were being shipped from a company in Germany, having as recipient a company in Ukraine.

The customs inspectors found no customs seal and, on inspecting the contents of the cylinders, the presence of a colourless and odourless liquid having the characteristics similar to water. Samples were taken and have been sent for further analysis to identify the liquid.

R134a confiscated

Foiling a more conventional smuggling operation last week, Romanian customs officers from Jimbolia on the border with Serbia confiscated 30 refrigerant cylinders concealed inside kitchen furniture on a Serbian registered VW van.

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