Four British men are facing up to a year in jail after being arrested for ‘invading’ Russia to have a beer.
Returning from Finland, the four unnamed UK citizens hopped over the waist-high border fence illegally entering into Russia.
The temptation to cross the frontier for a cold one was just too much.
The group, aged 21 to 24, had competed in last week’s Jukolan viesti orienteering competition in Finland and were driving from Eno to Joensuu when they decided to take a break and crack open a beer, in Russia of course!
Held by Finnish Border Guards for seven hours on Sunday on suspicion of border violations, the group were told that they face jail or a hefty fine.
Lead investigator Timo Häkkinen, of the Finnish Border Guards’ crime prevention unit, told YLE:
The men were on the Russian side for maybe 15 minutes. Across the border they had drunk several cans of beer.
The four admitted their guilt and were allowed to return home where they will be charged by a local prosecutor for border offences.
One member of the group, a 24-year-old IT worker who asked not to be named, told The Sun:
The barbed wire fence was only waist-high so it was easy to hop over with a can each and raise a toast to Russia.
It was the ultimate cheeky beer but could be the most expensive can of lager we’ve had.
We had no idea we’d been spotted until a police car stopped and arrested us on the Finnish side.
We understand why the group went to extreme lengths for a cheeky cold one though – although the cheap european lager turned out pretty pricey on this occasion.
Emily Murray is a journalist at UNILAD. She graduated from the University of Leeds with a BA in English Literature and History before studying for a Masters in Journalism at the University of Salford. Emily has previously worked for the BBC, ITV and Trinity Mirror. When Emily isn’t writing about topics including mental health and entertainment, you can find her at the cinema which is her second home.