KYRGYZSTAN/KAZAKHSTAN: Alcohol smuggling pipeline uncovered - report
Kyrgyzstan officials say alcohol is being smuggled into the country from neighbouring Kazakhstan via an underwater pipeline, according to reports.
Border and custom officers from the Central Asian country believe that thousands of litres of pure spirit have passed through the pipeline on the bed of the River Chu, the BBC reported late last week. Kazakhstan is believed to be one of the biggest grain producers in Central Asia, making spirits cheaper there than in nearby countries.
The country has also recently joined a customs union - along with Russia and Belarus - which has made it more expensive for its neighbours to import alcohol without paying high excise rates, the BBC said.
Seperately, Pernod Ricard said in April that Kazakhstan is a “very promising market” after reporting 30% organic sales growth in the country in its nine-month figures.
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