How the scam works:
This scam used to happen very often on the Ukrainian overnight trains coming from Poland or Belarus. Once the train crossed the border, immigration officers would visit the cabins for the necessary visas, passports, etc.
However, it was reported that their trick was to find a tourists with photo/video cameras outside their cases, so they could make a ridiculous accusation: "So, you have camera, yes? Aha, so you wanted to take picture of the immigration officer. It is not legal". Victims try to fight back: “No, not all”. They then say: “Well… I do not know…hmmm”.
Long story short, the officer actually starts harassing and requests the victim to leave the train for interrogation at their office. In most cases, the travelers get scared: long argument, fear of the unknown, missing the train in a foreign country, etc. The way to solve the problem is actually suggested by the officer: a 50 EURO would do the trick.
How to avoid:
A tough one, since it has been reported that tourists who didn’t want to pay the bribe were actually taken to the office. At the end of the night, they paid even more than that. Best thing to do is to have as little as possible displayed in your cabin, so they can’t find an easy cause for any accusation.
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