Philip Morris equip Guardia Civil on reducing smuggling of tobacco products

THE Director General of the Guardia Civil, Arsenio Fernandez de Mesa; Director General of Philip Morris Spain, Mario Alejandro Masseroli, and the Director of Corporate Affairs of that company, Francisco Javier Figaredo, signed an agreement on October 29 at the headquarters of the Directorate General Corps, which means that the tobacco giant will supply equipment and intelligence aimed at reducing the smuggling of tobacco products.

Officers of the Guardia Civil will receive underwater camera equipment, night vision systems, two vans and 100 scanners that can verify bar codes on cigarette packets.

This is a similar agreement to that Philip Morris, manufacturers of the hugely popular Marlboro brand, entered into with HM Customs Gibraltar in September of this year although it is more limited in its scope but includes training and support against smuggling.

The Guardia Civil has also entered into a separate agreement with Altadis manufacturer of a number of Spanish cigarette brands including Ducados and Fortuna which was taken over by Imperial Tobacco in 2008.

According to figures released by the Guardia Civil, during the first half of 2015, it has conducted 7,529 investigations into this type of smuggling, has arrested 91 people, and seized 3,903,993 packets of cigarettes that lacked proper legal seals, valued at over €12,100,000.

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