By Matthew Roscoe • 21 December 2020 • 13:53
17 arrests have been made and 67 million cigarettes were seized in a major customs bust after law enforcement authorities from 15 EU Member States and the UK teamed up last month.
A total seizure worth €35.82 million was made by the operation to dismantle a criminal network illegally trading cigarettes, which also prevented a tax loss estimated at €30 million from this illegal trade.
Supported by Europol and the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF), the joint operation took place between November 2 and 13 and was led by the customs departments of Lithuania and the UK, and facilitated by intelligence analysis of excise duty suspension abuse.
The fraud scheme consisted of illegally diverting cigarettes from EU internal and external transit customs procedures to the black market without paying millions in taxes.
The operation led to:
This joint operation targeted a fraud mechanism of duty suspension abuse:
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Originally from the UK, Matthew is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]
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