Fruit Smugglers Build a Road over the Russia-Belarus Border Overnight

One of the biggest issue for the developing countries is the lack of proper road infrastructure. The economic growth is sometimes held back by the absence of an extensive network of highways that can help goods move from one corner of the country to the other, or abroad.
Road near Klimenki 1 photo
Photo: Picture on Google Maps
The Government knows this, but it can only handle a certain number of requests at a time. The more heavily industrialized areas are usually the first to receive the upgrades, but equally important are the routes that lead to the most important border crossing points. Exports and imports are crucial for the country's development, so these will receive plenty of attention as well.

But besides macro- and microeconomics, every country also has an underground economy. That's where people who don't think much about paying taxes make the money to buy fancy clothes and flashy cars. These people deal with all kinds of stuff, from the mildly illegal to the downright horrific activities such as guns or even human trafficking.

But we'll leave these for the subjects of deep, profound movies such as "Taken" and focus on a much less dangerous - even though just as illegal - border activity: fruit smuggling. That's right, after Russia banned food imports from the EU as a retaliation over the trade embargo following the annexation of Crimea, the juicy goods had to find another way inside Putin's country. The Russians want their oranges.

Well, unlike guns or people, fruits don't have such a high value-to-mass ratio, so the smugglers needed to move a lot of them. That meant crossing the border in unmarked places, which tend to be lacking in asphalted roads. In fact, the dirt path could hardly be called a road. And since calling the municipality for assistance was out of the question, the smugglers hired some heavy equipment and, under the cover of darkness, they widened the track and made it more even.

The BBC reports that customs officers caught a convoy of nine trucks full of Greek and Polish fruit (175 tons of it) earlier this week, but they still don't know who did the roadworks. The Border Agency has put the 2.7-mile (4.5 km) track under constant surveillance since they lack the authority to block or destroy it.

However, even if they don't succeed in catching them, this might prove to be a very clever plan. With that route blocked, the smugglers are left with only one option: upgrade another road. Soon enough, the whole region around the Russian Klimenki village will become a driver's paradise with not one penny of the taxpayer's money spent.
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About the author: Vlad Mitrache
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"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
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