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OFFBEAT

Norway targets Baltic-bound bootleg diapers

Norwegian customs are working to stop a gang of Lithuanian smugglers from ferrying cheap nappies bought at a discount in Norway for resale at a mark up in eastern Europe.

Norway targets Baltic-bound bootleg diapers
Photo: Wikipedia

While Norway is generally known for high-priced consumer goods, when it comes to diapers, the country fares well compared to its Scandinavian and Baltic neighbours.

In Norway, a pack of diapers costs around 20 kroner ($3.50). In Lithuania, on the other hand, a pack of new nappies can set parents back 100-120 kroner, according to a report in the Swedish Aftonbladet daily.
 
But a group of enterprising smugglers believed to be based in Lithuania have made a concerted effort to exploit the sizeable price differential by transporting thousands of diapers from Norway through Sweden en route to points of sale in eastern Europe.
 
"We think it's an organized operation," Norwegian customs official Bjørn Sørli told the newspaper. "Sweden is a transit country for this operation."
 
In April, Norwegian customs stopped two suspected nappy smugglers in Trøndelag, a region in north central Norway which borders the Swedish county of Jämtland.
 
The two were found to be transporting diapers worth some 44,000 kroner and lacking the proper documents for importing the items into the European Union.
 
And just last Saturday, a truck was stopped near the Swedish border carrying a load of diapers with an estimated street value of more than 165,000 kroner reportedly purchased at a discount shopping centre in Norway and believed to be destined for Lithuania.
 
"Someone is earning good money doing this, The drivers have a shopping list with them when they come to Norway and buy what's been ordered," Sørli told Aftonbladet.

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OFFBEAT

Norwegian road authority in hot water for dumping rocks near UNESCO-listed fjord

The Norwegian Public Roads Administration will need to clear up more than 1,000 trucks worth of stones and rubble it left near the stunning UNESCO world heritage listed Nærøyfjord.

Norwegian road authority in hot water for dumping rocks near UNESCO-listed fjord
Nærøyfjorden near to where the Norwegian Public Roads Administration left behind more than 11,000 cubic metres of rocks. Photo by Arian Zwegers on Flickr.

Fly-tipping and rubbish dumping are typically associated with rogue tradespeople and cowboy builders, but it’s the Norwegian Public Roads Administration that is being asked to clear some 11,250 cubic metres of rocks it left near a UNESCO listed beauty spot.

The breathtaking Nærøyfjord in Aurland municipality, south-western Norway, is a landscape conservation area meaning its protected and, therefore, the rubble shouldn’t have been left there.

“This is a blister. We will clean up after ourselves,” Stig Berg Thomassen, project manager for the road authority, told NRK.

The rocks were left behind following a project to upgrade the nearby Gudvanga tunnel.

Thomassen said the mess was left in the conservation area because it wasn’t clearly marked as off-limits.

Nærøyfjorden has been listed as a landscape conservation area since 2002, and the site was added to the UNESCO world heritage list a few years later in 2005.

READ ALSO: You can now get married at this famous Norwegian beauty spot

The municipality in Aurland has given the road authority until December 17th to clear the mess. The mayor for the municipality said the road authority would begin to clear up the remnants of its building project as soon as possible.

The stones won’t be going far, though and will only be moved around 50 to 100 metres along the road to where the conservation area ends.

Project manager Thomassen has admitted that the situation could have been avoided with better planning.

“Yes, we should have probably have done that (prepared better). The situation is as it is, so we just have to clean up. It won’t take long to move the rocks. The Stones will only be transported 50 to 100 meters,” he confessed.

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