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Armed Russian Gang Caught Siphoning 900 Tons of Fuel From Europe-Bound Pipeline

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A heavily armed gang has been detained after siphoning hundreds of tons of diesel from a major Soviet-era pipeline that delivers oil to Europe.

The Druzhba pipeline passes through Ukraine and Belarus to deliver oil to Poland, Slovakia, Czech Republic and the Baltics. It was built in the 1960s to supply the Soviet Union’s Eastern European allies.

Twelve men were detained after reportedly siphoning $700,000-worth of diesel from the Transneft Druzhba pipeline in western Russia’s Bryansk region, the RBC news website cited the FSB as saying Tuesday.

A total of 13 Kalashnikov assault rifles and a Soviet-era submachine gun were reportedly seized along with a hand grenade and ammunition from the group.

Transneft spokesman Igor Dyomin told RBC that the company delivers diesel by pipeline to Hungary via Ukraine.

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