Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Ukraine begs Polish smugglers not to destroy trains

Ukrainian railways are closing down lines to Poland as smugglers keep taking the trains apart to hide the contraband.

The Ukrainian Minister of Transport Josyp Winski has made a dramatic appeal to Ukrainian smugglers, asking them not to destroy another train running to Poland.

“Recently we have put into motion brand new rolling stock but smugglers destroyed it in a week,” complained Winski at a press conference in Lviv.

Smugglers have always been a serious burden for Ukrainian railways. Every day Ukrainians smuggle cigarettes and alcohol into to Poland. In order to hide contraband from customs officers they take trains to pieces, dismantling seats and other fixtures.

Because Ukrainian trains going to Poland have to be constantly renovated, it is not profitable for Ukrainian railways to keep connections open. In 2007 they closed down Lviv to Przemysl line. Now the Lviv to Krakow connection is in danger of being closed.