Russia uncovers major counterfeit operation reports that the Federal Customs Service has reported the seizure of the largest batch of smuggled luxury goods in Russian history, estimated to be worth $US194 million.

The operation to detect the smuggling ring, which supplied luxury watches and jewellery to Russia, has been carried out since 2014, said the spokesman for the Federal Customs Service, Alexander Smelyakov.

The customs authorities are holding an unidentified man for smuggling goods into Russia. The last instance of smuggling was recorded in April 2016, when he brought another batch of goods in hand luggage, carrying it through the green corridor at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport.

After that, customs officers seized 2,225 items – mainly luxury branded watches, including Ulysse Nardin, Rolex and others – belonging to a similarly undisclosed commercial firm, in a “non-residential property in central Moscow.”

A total of 44 criminal cases over the evasion of customs duties and 12 administrative cases have been launched following the confiscation of the smuggled goods.

This is not the first case of large seizures of smuggled luxury watches in Moscow. At the end of September 2014, the Federal Customs Service officers impounded smuggled watches and jewellery worth over $US8.8 million at the TSUM department store. Greubel Forsey, Harry Winston, Chopard and Patek Philippe limited-edition watches were seized.

Rolex watches