Customs officers send tonnes of seized goods to help Ukrainians
Tax and customs and officials in northern Poland are sending millions of zloty’s worth of seized goods to help Ukrainian refugees.
Officers at the Pomeranian Customs and Tax Office in Gdynia have broken with established practice to sort through the tonnes of smuggled clothes, underwear and shoes most often coming from Russia.
Working around the clock since last Thursday, officers have been scrupulously calculating, loading and sorting over 200 pallets worth of goods and bedding before they are taken to a distribution centre in Łódź.
From there they are being distributed to both Ukrainians arriving in Poland as well as those still in their homeland.
Head of the Pomeranian Customs and Tax Office in Gdynia Maciej Siniarski said: “We have reviewed what is in our deposit warehouses, what we have kept as smuggled goods.
“These are not counterfeit goods, but they come from attempted smuggling, customs and tax fraud and underestimation of their value.”
He added that if the items were not being handed over to Ukraine, they would be forfeited to the State Treasury after the end of criminal proceedings.
Many Ukrainians are fleeing Russian bombing only in what they are wearing, rushing to pack without regard for weather conditions in their destination countries.
Since being green-lighted by local authorities, it is thought that other regional offices across Poland could now follow suit.