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Transfer of millions from Kyrgyzstan. Comment of the Customs Service

The Customs Service of Kyrgyzstan commented on a journalistic investigation by Kloop, Azattyk, and OCCRP.

«In accordance with Article 260 of the EAEU Customs Code, cash and (or) traveler’s checks are subject to customs declaration, if the total amount of such cash and (or) traveler’s checks one-time brought into the Union’s customs territory or exported from the customs territory of the union exceeds the amount equivalent to $ 10,000 at the exchange rate applicable on the day a passenger customs declaration is submitted to the customs authority,» the press release says.

At the same time, the State Customs Service of the Kyrgyz Republic notes that payment of any customs duties is not stipulated by the customs legislation of the EAEU.

The Customs Service refutes that the country’s budget has lost customs duties.

This is not true, the state service stresses.

«In this case, the other side of the issue is surprising: that the former customs officer Samat Isabekov, who had worked at the customs service for a long time, does not know such basic norms or deliberately misleads the public,» the SCS reports.

Recall, the investigation says that «couriers mainly serve private merchants and wholesalers from numerous bazaars in Kyrgyzstan, who buy goods in Turkey and China for cash. This widespread practice is contrary to the laws of Kyrgyzstan. Depriving the budget of revenues from customs duties, it causes direct harm to taxpayers and also does not allow to establish the legality of the origin of the funds.»

«This money is hidden, firstly — from customs duties, secondly — from taxes, and thirdly — from the financial intelligence service,» reporters quoted Samat Isabekov, the former head of the Manas Airport’s Internal Security Service, as saying.