Russia suspects numerous fake documents on berry shipment
Russia’s Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance (Rosselkhoznadzor) said the blueberries, strawberries, blackberries and raspberries were of Mexican and Moroccan origin.
In total, the shipment was made up of 9.3MT of fresh strawberries, 2.24MT of fresh blueberries, 1.8MT of fresh raspberries, and 330kg of fresh blackberries.
The fruit was being transported into the country from Belarus following transit through the Czech Republic.
Rosselkhoznadzor claimed workers at its checkpoint in the western Pskov region had found a number of problems with the consignment's phytosanitary certificates.
For one, it said the certificate from Belarus had a different reference number to the shipment and was therefore invalid. In the case of the Czech phytosanitary certificate, the weight indicated for the shipment allegedly did not correspond to the weight indicated on the Mexican and Moroccan documents.
In addition, Rosselkhoznadzor said the Mexican phytosanitary certificate for the fresh blackberries was dated 2014.
The authorities did not say what happened to the berry consignment after it was blocked at the border.