Finland confiscates cash from Russians returning home – media

A Russian man had his money confiscated on border with Finland as Helsinki banned “export” of euros to Russia

Finland confiscates cash from Russians returning home – media

Finland confiscates cash from Russians returning home – media

Helsinki has banned “export” of euro banknotes to Russia

Finnish customs officials have started seizing cash from Russians returning home across the Finland-Russia border, the Russian media outlet Fontanka reported on Monday, citing a man who said he was subjected to such a “confiscation.”

A resident of St. Petersburg, identified only as Yuri, was returning from a business trip to Serbia via Finland. He was driving home to Russia on Saturday evening, when he was stopped at the border crossing.

“They took only euros,” Yuri told Fontanka, adding that he was told he “is prohibited from taking the money to Russia.” The customs officials then suggested he could either give all his euros to “someone entering Finland” through the same border crossing, or hand them over to the customs and get them back the next time he is in Finland again. The man agreed to hand the money over, provided there was no time limit on when he could get it back. 

According to Fontanka, Yuri is not the only Russian who has been subjected to “restrictions” under this scheme, introduced in light of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. Other travelers reportedly shared similar stories on the outlet’s Telegram channel.

The Finnish customs officially warns on its website that “exporting banknotes of official EU Member State currencies to Russia is prohibited,” but says there are exceptions for money needed for diplomatic purposes and “personal use” of those traveling to Russia.

The Russian-language version of the website specifically states that “taking unused cash to Russia by an individual living in Russia and returning home” does not count as “personal use.” 

“export sanctions” related to the conflict in Ukraine and it is not clear when they were introduced. So far, the Russian authorities have not commented on the development.