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    RUSSIAN CUSTOMS OFFICERS PREVENT SMUGGLING OF 3 ICONS OUT OF RUSSIA

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    MOSCOW, March 1, 2004. (RIA Novosti) -- Russian customs officers have prevented smuggling of three ancient icons out of Russia, the press service of the State Customs Committee told RIA Novosti on Monday.

    "Pskov customs officers discovered three undeclared icons, The Tikhvin, Fedorov and Smolensk Icons of the Mother of God, with an Estonian citizens. All the icons are of cultural and historic value," the press service reported.

    Criminal proceedings were initiated.

    All in all, Russian customs officers detained contraband goods for the sum of $67,000 last weekend.

    Eight criminal and 300 administrative proceedings were initiated upon smuggling cases.

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