Large-scale reindeer antler smuggling


A group of businessmen from the Republic of Karelia in April unsuccessfully tried to smuggle 800 kg of reindeer horns from Russia to Latvia.

The smugglers where caught by customs officers in Pskov Oblast near the border to Latvia. In the truck, the customs officers found 495 units of reindeer horn with a total weight of more than 800 kg. The goods had no customs declaration, nor any other documentation, weekly newspaper Karelskaya Gubernyareports

The revealed smuggling attempt might indicate large-scale reindeer poaching in Karelia, regional authorities say. Specialists now investigate whether the horns stem from Karelia or from the neighboring Murmansk Oblast.

While reindeer hunting is strictly forbidden in Karelia, Murmansk Oblast has a functioning reindeer industry operated primarily by the indigenous Sami population. Several thousand reindeers use the rich pasture lands of the Kola Peninsula.

Barents Observer, original article here

Read also: Restricting Kola reindeers

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