Russian Smugglers Renovate Road Neglected by Government
Who will build the roads if not the government? As it turns out, even criminals will, if they need to.
The public- and profit-minded entrepreneurs of the black market in Belarussia have taken it upon themselves to improve business by upgrading their transportation routes. Smugglers adopted a gravel road from Minsk to Moscow, raised the road, widened it, and added more turning points to increase access for their heavy goods trucks (fruit weighs a lot). The secret project was quickly rewarded with heightened traffic and an eventual government takeover, complete with customs.
If black market businesses can successfully build up a road under the table, imagine what "legitimate" entrepreneurs would build out in the open.
The Moscow Times has the full story:
"Smugglers have transformed the gravel track in the Smolensk region in order to help their heavy goods vehicles traveling on the route, said Alexander Laznenko from the Smolensk region border agency. The criminal groups have widened and raised the road and added additional turning points, he said.
The road, which connects Moscow to the Belarussian capital of Minsk, is known to be used by smugglers wishing to avoid official customs posts and is now under official surveillance.
A convoy of trucks was recently stopped on the road carrying 175 tons of sanctioned Polish fruit worth 13 million rubles ($200,000). The produce was subsequently destroyed, TASS reported.
Local border guards, customs and police officers have checked over 73,000 vehicles entering Russia from Belarus this year, Laznenko said, claiming that the number of heavy goods vehicles crossing the border from Belarus has increased dramatically in the last year, he said."
Eileen Wittig is the copyeditor for online content at the Foundation for Economic Education.
This article was originally published on FEE.org. Read the original article.