Mon. Jun 17th, 2024

Sub-sanctioned timber travels through Poland to the EU – investigation

Natasha Kumar By Natasha Kumar Mar26,2024

Subsanctioned timber travels through Poland to the EU - investigation

Belarusian timber that fell under sanctions, are imported into the EU through Poland, using fake documents stating that the products are sent from Kazakhstan. The Polish customs say that they do not have the physical ability to verify the authenticity of all customs declarations.

This is stated in a joint investigation by the Belarusian Investigation Center, a project of the Ukrainian edition of Radio Liberty “Schemes” and publications Gazeta Wyborcza.

Investigators found that after the introduction of sanctions on timber from Belarus, EU imports of timber from Kazakhstan increased significantly. Thus, according to Eurostat, in 2022, wood goods worth 14 million euros were imported from Kazakhstan, and in 2023 this figure increased almost five times – to 68 million euros.

Journalists analyzed one of the contracts between the Kazakh company Nurr-electro and the Polish PLRBL for the supply of pine palisades worth almost a million euros. The contract is dated October 2022, delivery – early 2023.

"It turned out that the signatures and seals on the document of the Kazakh Nurr-electro were falsified, and, as noted by two independent graphic design experts, superimposed on the documents using a photo editor.

In addition, Arman Tulievich, a lawyer for the Kazakh company Nurr-electro, noted in a comment to reporters that “there were no financial transactions for such a transaction, let alone goods.” and “we don’t have such a seal.” And a representative of the Belarusian carrier company “Gallardo” admitted that the goods were from Belarus: “we didn’t bring them from Kazakhstan, we brought them from Belarus, they loaded them there for us,” the material says.

At the same time, the only owner of the Polish company that bought PLRBL, Oleg Yanovich, refused to answer to questions from journalists.

Investigators, with the help of market sources, found that the timber was shipped from the warehouse of a Belarusian enterprise, owned by the mentioned Oleg Janovich.

In the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in response to When asked by journalists, they stated that the issue of circumventing sanctions does not fall within their competence. The Polish Customs Service stated that they do not have the physical ability to check all customs declarations.

"The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Poland received a response that an audit had begun based on the facts stated in the request, but the department refrained from further comments," – the material says.

Prepared by: Nina Petrovich

Natasha Kumar

By Natasha Kumar

Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my 1-800-268-7116

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