The number of customs violations in Finland has risen significantly this year. According to the Finnish customs department, there were about 3.4 thousand different violations over the first half of 2003, a year-on-year increase of 5.6%.
Among the violations are the illegal import of alcohol and tobacco, drugs and arms smuggling. The smuggling of alcohol is the most common violation. 26,863 thousand litres of alcohol were seized by customs officers over the six-month period including 11,611 thousand litres of spirits. The largest volume of smuggled alcohol was discovered in the Western customs district. The criminal group consisted of Finns and Russians specialising in the smuggling of alcohol and tobacco hidden inside logs.
Customs officers also seized 789.53 kilogrammes of different drugs over the six-month period, 80 kilogrammes more than the same period of 2002.
More than 3,500 people were detained during unprecedented mass protests that swept across all of Russia in support of Alexey Navalny on January 23