Russian customs foils attempt to smuggle Kalashnikov assault rifle parts into Kazakhstan

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SAMARA, June 9. /TASS/. The Samara customs authorities foiled an attempt to smuggle firearms parts from Togliatti to Kazakhstan under the guise of auto spares, the Federal Customs Service announced on its website on Wednesday.

A Togliatti resident is suspected of committing the crime. He may face three to seven years in prison and a penalty of one million rubles (around $13,800), the Federal Customs Service specified.

“The staff of the Samara customs house has thwarted an attempt to smuggle firearms parts. A Togliatti resident tried to send a parcel with 100 magazines for a 5.45mm Kalashnikov assault rifle with a capacity of 30 rounds to Kazakhstan through a transport company. The consignment note indicated the weapon parts as automotive spare parts,” the statement says.

The parcel was seized at the courier service’s packing center and sent for an expert study. Its conclusion says that the box magazines for AKM and AKS-74 assault rifles are the parts that are supplied to the Russian Armed Forces and referred to the category of “armaments and military hardware” and are prohibited from being moved across the Russian state border,” the Federal Customs Service said.

A criminal case has been launched against the Togliatti resident for violating Part 3 of Article 30 and Part 1 of Article 226.1 of Russia’s Criminal Code (‘Attempted Smuggling of Goods Referred to Other Armaments’). The crime is punishable with a prison term of three to seven years and a fine of 1 million rubles, the statement says.

It transpired during operational measures that the Togliatti resident owned a trade outlet for the sale of airsoft guns, ammunition and fighting gear. During a search at the suspect’s residence as part of the criminal probe, customs officers seized cartridges, rifles of various calibers, over 4,000 cases for magazines for various arms, and around 300 magazines for Kalashnikov automatic weapons and also bulletproof vests.

The measures were carried out in interaction with the Samara branch of the Federal Security Service (FSB) and the regional transport department of the Interior Ministry.