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Man steals 19,000 kilograms of cheese

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Cheese

© PA Images / Matthew Mead

A man has been accused of stealing 19,000kg of cheese.

Veniamin Konstantinovich Balika was arrested when New Jersey police found roughly $200,000 (£131,600) worth of the foodstuff in the back of his van.

The 34-year-old is thought to have provided false paperwork in order to obtain the Muenster cheese from the distributor K&K in Cashton, Wisconsin, reports Channel3000.

Balika, who hails from Plainfield in Illinois, had allegedly planned to sell the goods to retailers on the east coast for under the market value.

New Jersey state police detective Oliver Sissman said: "There's a black market for everything. We've seen everything stolen. We've found stolen beer, stolen food, stolen machine parts, but this is the first time we've found stolen cheese."

The distributor can not reclaim the product, as they can not guarantee it hasn't been tampered with. The cheese will instead be donated to charity if the health authorities find it to be safe for consumption.

Kevin Everhart, general manager of K&K, said: "This is the first time this has ever happened to us.

"The trucking company we contract with will take care of the money we lost, but it's still a shame. [It's] still sad that this happened."

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