Customs officers in Primorye, Russia's Far East detained an entrepreneur, who was trying to smuggle a batch of relict wood across the Russian-Chinese border.
According to the press service of the Far Eastern Customs Department, the entrepreneur, who was travelling to China with a falsified customs declaration, had 7 cubic meters of castor aralia, a relict type of wood listed in Russia's Red Book, 5 cubic meters of cedar, and 7.5 cubic meters of Amur cork tree in his luggage.
Castor aralia, popularly known as the devil's tree, is a rare plant growing in Primorye and very rarely on Sakhalin Island and the Khabarovsk territory. Its highly durable wood with an exotic ornament-style pattern is highly valued in China, Korea and Japan.
Administrative charges were brought against the entrepreneur for misdeclaration. The penalty will be defined as soon as experts determine the cost of the wood.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel had had a few fights and used strong language because of the Ukrainian crisis in 2014