After prostitution it is probably one of the oldest ‘businesses’ in the world. Ever since the introduction of borders and taxation people have always, and always will, try to evade the authorities – either to avoid paying an import duty or to bring into a country a product for which there is a demand but which is illegal to be sold in that country. It is called smuggling.
Well it now appears that the world of extreme sports has got involved with smuggling in a new dimension. The Press Association reports that a Hungarian man has been detained detained after illegally flying his hang glider from the Ukraine to Hungary where custom officials believe him to be part of a cigarette smuggling probe.
The man said ‘strong winds accidentally blew him over the border’ (!!), but border officials suspect the man was trying to smuggle cheap cigarettes into Hungary.
A pack of cigarettes costs about 50p in Ukraine compared to £1.50 in Hungary, and smuggling has become a common problem.
I have not been able to determine how many cigarettes were found on the hang glider but I have a strange ‘visual’ of a hang glider flying his glider trailing a massive curtain sider behind him full of cigarettes!! Obviously there is a limit to how many packets of cigarettes you could carry with you if you are to get airborne but the whole concept did amuse me. I suppose there are differnt types of contraband, of greater value and not so bulky that could be smuggled cross border.
Next time I see a scuba diver coming out of the water, or a snow boarder coming down the highest mountain, or a mountain biker near an international border or indeed a kite surfer appearing from Colombia I might just give him or her a quizzical look!!!!!!