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Saturday, December 11th, 2004

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3km vodka pipeline found

LITHUANIAN border guards have discovered a three-kilometre-long hose that was being used to smuggle vodka from Belarus. The plastic hose, which started just across the border with Belarus, was buried between two and 10 centimetres beneath the ground. It ran beneath several roads, along a riverbed and ended in the backyard of a private house on the Lithuanian side of the border in Eisiskes. The State Border Guard said today its officers searched several other houses, but no arrests were made. It's the fourth such pipeline discovered since 2002 and the longest.

Vodka, which is much cheaper in Belarus, is constantly being smuggled across the border and distributed in mostly rural areas. A small bottle of legally imported vodka costs about 16 euros ($28), but homemade vodka smuggled from Belarus typically sells for four euros ($7) a bottle.

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