In efforts to crack down on an increasing issue with Estonians crossing the country’s southern border in order to buy cheaper alcohol there, the Estonian Tax and Customs Board (MTA) wants to install license plate-reading cameras at ten or so currently unsupervised Estonian-Latvian border crossings.
This summer season’s record violation, for example, was discovered last week, when customs officials detained a commercial vehicle in Estonia whose driver had picked up a ton and a half of beer with the intention of delivering it to Finland; the likely intention was to resell the alcohol in Finland, as the cost of beer in Finland is currently twice that of Latvian prices.
“He had already completed a number of successful trips across the border at Ikla and from here on to Finland,” explained Urmas Koidu, director of the customs department at the MTA. “We were able to track him down specifically thanks to the license plate recgnition system.“
It is strange that there are still some borders that are not covered by the system. Compared to the intelligence gathering capabilities the system provides, the motive to fight alcohol smuggling is a joke.