Every day at least ten large coach buses are driving from the Estonian border town of Narva to Ivangorod, a Russian city across the Narva river, to fill up with diesel fuel, and return in a couple of hours, writes Postimees.
To hire the actual purpose of such trips the coaches also have some passengers on them.
Since such coach buses can take between 500 and 900 litres of diesel fuel in their tanks, this has become a lucrative fuel smuggling business.
Jaanus Lumiste, head of the Narva border checkpoint, says that the first cases of fuel tourism were detected about 18 months ago and it has been spreading as far as Rakvere.
According to operators of bus lines, such fuel tourism has become a major obstacle to official bus companies. Aleksei Zaitsev from SEBE estimates that there are more than ten such professional groups that send their buses to Ivangorod every day.
A simple calculation shows that by making two trips a day to Ivangorod, the bus owner could earn about 500 euros a day. Diesel fuel in Ivangorod costs 0.69 euro a litre, while in Narva it costs double that, 1.36 euros a litre.