15 trucks of tomatoes that have recently been imported from Turkey have dealt the Armenian-grown tomato market a crushing blow. According to Haykakan Zhamanak newspaper, the importers replaced the Turkish labels on the tomatoes with false Armenian ones and tried to export them to Russia. The Russian side, however, realized the fraud on the Upper Lars checkpoint. Moreover, a laboratory analysis of the tomatoes revealed that the produce contained large amounts of pesticides, so the trucks were sent back.
“As a result, the importers had to sell the goods in the Armenian market [at fairly cheap prices], which dealt a crushing blow to the sales of the produce of local hothouses and caused the dissatisfaction of Armenian producers,” the paper writes.
According to some reports, Haykakan Zhamanak continues, the imported tomatoes were not even cleared through customs since the clearance of 15 trucks of tomatoes would have cost the importers about US$300 thousand. In other words, this import alone caused the state nearly 300 thousand dollars in budget loss.