The Serbian Agriculture Ministry on Wednesday banned companies under investigation from exporting produce to Russia following the arrest of five people suspected of faking documents to re-export fruit.
A police statement said the five people had been arrested for faking paperwork on fruit from Greece which they then re-exported to Russia as Serbian goods, violating the free trade agreement between the two countries.
The police also arrested 54 farmers involved in the faking of the documents to export peaches and nectarines. The Agriculture Ministry said that the companies which are under investigation over the illegal exports would be banned from exporting goods to any country.
“The latest joint operation by the ministries of agriculture and internal affairs continues the uncompromising struggle against everyone endangering Serbia’s national interests and privileged position on important global markets, including the Russian market,” a statement said.
The ministry said that more than 80 people had been arrested two months ago for smuggling fruit onto the Russian market.