Saturday, August 19, 2017

Yekaterinburg local accused of smuggling reindeer

A Yekaterinburg local, who is beloved in his community for impersonating Father Frost-- the Russian equivalent of Santa Claus-- has been accused of smuggling reindeer.

Natalya Guryeva, a senior veterinary official whose practice is located near Father Frost's operation, alerted Sverdlovsk police after witnessing the suspect transporting two reindeer without the required veterinary inspections and documentation, RIA Novosti reports.

Guryeva reported that the two reindeer were shipped to the Sverdlovsk region last year to be stationed at Father Frost's residence outside Yekaterinburg. Without the proper inspections and documentation, the transportation of wildlife is considered a misdemeanor offense.

Natalya Skorokhodova, the director of Father Frost's business operations, insisted, however, her operation obtained the requisite documents for the two reindeer, but has declined to comment further, according to RIA Novosti.

The two contraband reindeer, Belyak and Snezhinka, have been placed in quarantine by regional officials while the situations is being investigated further.