Smugglers from Serbia damage Kosovo’s budget

Prishtinë, October 20, 2007 – UNMIK Customs has organized a visit for journalists to the border crossing point between Kosovo and Serbia, in Zubin Potok. During this event, UNMIK Customs’ officials informed the media about their achievements and the obstacles that they are facing. They said they have managed to decrease the level of smuggling at the crossing points between Kosovo and Serbia, but admitted that there are still many problems, media report.

Although Customs Service is very active at the crossing point in Zubin Potok, the smugglers operate easily through the neutral zone and the lake. Only two days earlier, a patrolling boat of UNMIK Customs faced a boat which was smuggling fuel products, but they did not manage to confiscate it, since a crowd of Serb citizens protected the smugglers, Customs Officers revealed. They admitted that secondary roads are being used for smuggling and that 85% of smuggling in Kosovo comes from Serbia going through the green zone between Zubin Potok and Leposaviq and thus damaging the Kosovo’s budget income to a very high extent.

Naim Huruglica, Managing Director of UNMIK Customs explained: “The same control and rules are applied at this crossing point as in others, but here the smuggling goes through the lake.” He also explained that UNMIK Customs is in good cooperation with Serbia customs in fighting smuggling.