Russian Busted Smuggling Tank Wheels

A resident of Russia’s southern Belgorod region was held trying to smuggle 12 pairs of wheels from a T-72 battle tank to Ukraine, the regional customs office reported on Tuesday.

The man was hauling the wheels in his UAZ Soviet-era jeep, which had no license plates and no official registration, the report said.

The unnamed driver, who has a previous record of smuggling charges, now faces up to seven years in prison and a fine of up to 1 million rubles ($31,000) for illegally transporting military equipment across a state border, the customs office said.

It remained unclear where the man obtained the wheels or what they were intended for. The man was held in April, but the story was not reported until this week, the customs office said.

The Ukrainian Army employs more than a 1,000 T-72s, and the country produces its own modification of the tank, which was introduced in the Soviet Army in 1973.


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