Incidents » Crimes

Meteorite smuggling

A woman attempted to transport a heavy-weight meteorite from Russia to Japan
Customs officers discovered an iron meteorite weighing 1kg among personal belongings of a woman from a Russian city of Khabarovsk who was on her way to visit Japan.

According to the information provided by customs services of the Far East, officers managed to detect the celestial rock by means of special scanner at the Khabarovsk airport.

Staff of the local department of preservation of cultural artifacts confirmed the fact that the find was precisely meteorite. They also provided an estimate—43 000 rubles. Specialists also labeled the meteorite as “national property of the government.”

Today, the woman faces criminal charges for attempting to secretly transport the piece abroad.

Khabarovsk customs officers encountered such case for the first time. Their colleagues from the Coastal region deal with such smuggling of meteorites more often since it was in that region that the so-called “Sitohe-Alinsky” meteorite had crashed in the region more than 50 years ago. Its pieces can still be found in Ussuriiskaya taiga.