Russia’s FSB Nab Suspects Smuggling Explosives Hidden In Religious Icons From Ukraine Into Country

Russia’s FSB Nab Suspects Smuggling Explosives Hidden In Religious Icons From Ukraine Into Country

The Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) in collaboration with the Federal Customs Service, has apprehended a group of smugglers who had been carrying explosives hidden inside Orthodox icons and liturgical utensils from Ukraine into Russia, the FSB press service told TASS.

“In the process of inspecting a vehicle at the Ubylinka international automobile checkpoint near the Latvian-Russian border in the Pskov Region, FSB officers uncovered foreign-made explosives that had been hidden inside a consignment of Orthodox icons and liturgical utensils and were being smuggled from Ukraine into Russia,” the service said.

As many as 27 ready-to-use improvised explosive devices disguised as icons, 70 kg of a factory-made high-power plastic explosive, 91 electric detonators, and components for an RPG-7 rocket launcher were confiscated from a cargo shipment originating in Ukraine that had passed through Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, Poland, Lithuania, and Latvia en route to Russia.

Without disclosing their identities or specific roles, the FSB pledged that all of the perpetrators of and accomplices to the crime, including foreign nationals, would be declared wanted and would be vigorously prosecuted under Russian law.

Meanwhile, the driver of the inspected vehicle said the bill of lading for the shipment showed a final delivery address in Moscow.

“When I arrived in … Romania for loading, at the warehouse I looked at the cargo. It consisted of liturgical utensils and icons. And then I headed for Russia, to Moscow, where the cargo was to be offloaded,” he said in a video released by the FSB.

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