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    Moscow Thieves on the Run After Stealing $400k of Caviar Through Hole in Fence

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    Thieves in Moscow have ruined New Year's Eve celebrations for one Moscow business by stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars of red caviar from its premises, the city authorities told RIA Novosti.

    The general director of a Moscow firm reported to police that thieves had stolen over 10 tons of caviar, a spokesperson for the Moscow Department of Internal Affairs told RIA Novosti on Tuesday.

    "When police arrived at the scene, they found the thieves had entered the premises via a hole in the concrete fence, and cut holes in the sides of three containers which were nearby," the spokesperson said.

    "Then, they committed the theft of plastic red caviar containers of 11 kg and 13kg, with a total weight of 13 metric tons."

    The police are investigating the crime, and estimate the cost of the theft at 23.5 million rubles ($367,000).

    The timing of the theft is particularly detrimental to the company as it comes ahead of New Year festivities, during which Russians traditionally enjoy the delicacy as part of their celebrations.

    Red caviar, produced from salmon eggs, is a popular delicacy in Russia, where it is served at holidays like New Year's celebrations, and other festivities such as weddings.

    The rarer black caviar is produced from sturgeon eggs. In 2007, the Caspian Sea countries, including Russia, introduced a ban on sturgeon fishing there due the destruction of the fish population by poachers.

    The ban made an exception for farms which are also engaged in sturgeon farming, and last year Russian farmers tripled their black caviar exports thanks to improvements in sturgeon aquaculture.

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    Tags:
    fishing, salmon, caviar, fish, sturgeon, theft, Russia
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