Caught red-handed: Norwegian woman fined after left hand crosses Russian border

Caught red-handed: Norwegian woman fined after left hand crosses Russian border
A border police officer at the Norwegian border. Photo by Petter BERNTSEN / AFP
A woman in North Norway was handed a hefty fine when her left arm crossed the Russian border. 

Police in Finnmark, Northern Norway, have dished out a fine to a woman after she accidentally crossed the border on a trip to Treirksrøyen, the spot that marks the boundaries between Norway, Finland and Russia. 

The hiker climbed the spot that marks the borders and hugged what locals call the heart stone, which sits atop the cairn. 

Hugging the stone meant that her left hand crossed the border, which is illegal under The National Borders Act. 

The incident was picked up by CCTV at the site and reported to police by armed forces at the border. Local police then slapped the woman with a fine. 

“There are quite strict rules when it comes to crossing the border,” Lisa Moon Sneve, attorney for Finnmark Police District, told newspaper VG.

According to Sneve, this is a common offence. 

“I do not have the exact number, but there are so many cases like this where it is common for us,” Sneve said. 

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The woman has yet to respond to the fine, meaning that she could end up in district court in September if she refuses to accept the fine. 

If so, she risks having the fine increased to 9,600 kroner, or 19 days in prison if she is unable to pay or continues to refuse to pay the fine. 

Sneve says that the fine may seem excessive but that it’s necessary to prevent people from crossing the border illegally. 

“There are very many tourists who aren’t clear on how strict this actually is, but not being aware of the law is no excuse. The fines are high to prevent people from crossing the border,” she explained. 

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