Politico: Thefts of agricultural machinery have increased sharply in Britain - it is being shipped to Russia

Politico: Thefts of agricultural machinery have increased sharply in Britain - it is being shipped to Russia

The problem with theft of GPS devices has been recognized by the British government

Politico: Thefts of agricultural machinery have increased sharply in Britain - it is being shipped to Russia

In 2023, the number of thefts of farm equipment in Britain increased sharply. The British police believe that the equipment is being illegally smuggled to Russia, which is under severe sanctions.

Source. This was reported by Politico.

The stolen farm equipment is "without a doubt" headed to Eastern Europe, Superintendent Andrew Huddleston, who heads the British National Rural Crime Unit, told the publication.

The police officer has no direct evidence that the equipment ends up in the crops, but he and his colleagues "have little doubt about it."

"If you asked me my professional opinion about a country under sanctions, I would absolutely professionally expect the black market to react to this. That's what criminals do," Huddleston said.

After the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, many manufacturers of farm equipment and machinery stopped supplying to Russia. In particular, this decision was made by the machine-building giant John Deere and the Dutch company Lely.

Crime in rural areas in the UK deteriorated sharply in 2023. The number of thefts of construction and agricultural machinery in the first quarter increased by more than 300% in England and Wales. Excavators and expensive GPS devices, which allow farmers to map fields and plant crops more efficiently, were stolen most often.

One of the farmers spoke to Politico and called the situation "the worst he had ever seen." According to him, this year farm equipment is always under threat, wherever it is stored.

April was the second worst month in the history of GPS equipment thefts, according to NFU Mutual insurance company. The company's insurance costs doubled to £500,000.

The problem with the theft of GPS devices has been recognized by the UK government.

"The theft of GPS systems is a huge problem. I don't know if there is a connection with Russia, but they are very valuable and easy to remove. They cost eight, nine, ten thousand a piece," a federal official told Politico on condition of anonymity.

Background. As a reminder, Ukraine has handed over to its partners a list of 36 Russian companies against which it is calling for sanctions.

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