A North Korean man has been detained at the Russian border for attempting to bring nearly 1,500 pounds of buckwheat noodles into the country.
The seizure took place on a train crossing the border in Khasan, Russia, as customs agents inspected the car for any illicit goods. They discovered the unnamed man with bags of noodle packages tucked beneath every compartment of the lower shelves in the car.
Now, in accordance with Russian customs laws, he is facing a fine amounting to one half or twice the amount of the value of the goods, according to NK News.
In total, agents found 27 bags filled with the buckwheat noodles, which the man explained that he intended to sell in Russia. The individual packets of the noodles sell for about the equivalent of 13 cents.
“This product was not declared and significantly exceeded the allowance for personal consumption,” a press release issued by the Far Eastern Customs Administration.
Artyom Lukin, a International Relations scholar at the Far Eastern Federal University in Vladivostok, told NK News that Russian customs agents are particularly careful when inspecting trains coming from North Korea.
“As far as I know, Russian border guards and customs officers exercise double vigilance when dealing with North Korean passengers and cargos crossing the Russian border,” he said.
“The heightened controls are needed to enforce the heavy UN sanctions on North Korea, as well as prevent traditional commercial smuggling by North Koreans.”