The Vodka Pipeline to Estonia

kaput.jpgThe AFP is reporting today that eleven people have been arrested in a criminal operation to smuggle vodka via an underwater pipeline from Russia to Estonia. Though certainly a lucrative black market trade, it doesn’t look like they were sending the good stuff:

According to prosecutors the men had pumped at least 6,200 litres of illegal spirit to Estonia, avoiding paying 57,000 euros (900,000 Estonian Crowns) in excise duty. “The investigation also revealed that the men had tried to sell some of the alcohol in Tallinn in early November 2004 but the quality of the spirit was too bad and no buyers were found. They then transported their cargo back to Narva and later managed to sell it in Tartu, the second largest town in Estonia,” Luuk said.

And here all along we thought that Gazprom wasn’t a dynamic company … As least they weren’t smuggling tanks and arms for the separatists like in some other former Soviet countries…