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Russian Customs Offices Raided in Smuggling Investigation — Reports

Russia’s Federal Customs Service (FCS) has been raided as part of a criminal investigation into illegal alcohol production, the Interfax news agency reported Tuesday.

Federal Security Service (FSB) agents searched the office of FCS head Andrey Belyaninov as part of the case against St. Petersburg businessman Dmitry Mikhalchenko.

FCS employees are not under suspicion, Interfax reported.

Mikhalchenko is accused of founding organized crime groups and illegally trading alcohol.

He was arrested in March on suspicion of organizing the transportation of two containers of Courvoisier Cognac 1912. The shipment, believed to be worth a total of 2 million rubles ($30,000), passed through the Baltic sea port of Ust Luga disguised as building sealant.

Russian law enforcement is yet to confirm the raid.

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