Source Pravda.Ru

Two customs ships are fitted out with machine guns to fight smugglers

Two fast vessels of Sakhalin's (an island in Russia's Far East) customs authority -Pavel Vereshchagin and Vitaly Kirsanov - have been fitted out with large-calibre machine guns, RIA Novosti was told on Wednesday at the press-service of the Far Eastern customs authority.

The commanders of both ships, equipped with 12.7 mm machine guns, are given the right, should smugglers fail to obey the command to heave to, first to fire warning shots and then shoot to kill.

The two vessels patrol the Sakhalin and Kuril areas, which sea poachers and smugglers use mostly for illegal deliveries of their catches to China and South Korea.

Three fast customs ships - Pavel Vereshchagin, Vitaly Kirsanov and Pyotr Matveyev - have been assembled in the Khabarovsk shipyards (Far East) to orders from the customs.

Pavel Vereshchagin was named after a customs official - the main character of a cult film, "The White Sun of the Desert". The two other vessels are named in memory of real Russian customs men.

For high speed and the special paint enabling the ships "to melt with" the sea and prove "invisible", the smugglers have dubbed these ships "gray wolves".