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MOSCOW, December 23. /ITAR-TASS/. The police have found a cache containing five tonnes of amber in the Kaliningrad Region on Baltic coast. The lot is preliminary estimated at more than 1 billion rubles ($30 million), the Russian Ministry of the Interior’s press office told Itar-Tass.
The cache was discovered during a money-laundering investigation of the former owner of the OJSC Specialist, Viktor Bogdan, suspected of an attempt at illegal VAT refund in an amount of about 250 million rubles (8 million dollars).
During a search of the bootleg amber processing workshop in a private home in the village of Yantarny the police found a basement with its entrance bricked up. Under the cement layer covering the wall they discovered a cache with 227 bags of amber with the total weight of 5.1 tonnes, the Interior Ministry said.
Many pieces of amber were heavier than 1.5 kilograms. According to specialists, some samples are exceptionally rare and their value alone may be estimated at about $100,000.
The police proceed with the investigation of Viktor Bogdan and his accomplices. All are in hiding and their names feature on an international wanted list.