YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–In 1998–1,712 cases of violating the customs regulations were reported. 254 of the violations were classified as smuggling–and only 100 million drams were paid out of the 300,767,000,000 drams set as a fine for similar violations.
The Head of the Information Center of the Customs Department–Susan Simonian reported that the number of violations reported in 1998 has exceeded those reported in 1997 by 500. She said that besides cases of smuggling goods liable to excise duty (alcoholic beverages–tobacco) those of smuggling household goods (perfumery–tyres) were reported.
An increase in wheat imports was also reported. in 1998 16.7 billion drams worth of wheat was imported–which is twice as much as the previous year. Simonian said that 101,405 kilos of smuggled wheat were found–63,000 kilos in December only.
In 1998–cases of revealing smuggled caviar became more frequent. Attempts of smuggling items and household articles made of plastic and stained glass of 7 million drams worth were prevented.