EUBAM collaborates across borders to dismantle €5 million cigarette smuggling operation 
October 25, 2023

EUBAM collaborates across borders to dismantle €5 million cigarette smuggling operation 

An international cigarette smuggling ring has been dismantled with the help of the European Union Border Assistance Mission to Moldova and Ukraine (EUBAM), leading to the arrest in the Czech Republic of 22 people, mostly Moldovans and Ukrainians, and the seizure of almost 18 million cigarettes.

EUBAM facilitated a cross-border cooperation between Moldovan, Czech and Romanian case officers and prosecutors, and substantially supported a successful cross-border investigation that resulted in the dismantling of an organised criminal group that dealt with the clandestine production of cigarettes in the Czech Republic and their distribution on the black market in several EU countries. The total damage to tax authorities has so far been estimated at €5 million.

In the final phase of the investigation, 17,697,320 illegal cigarettes, 11,197 kilograms of tobacco, as well as the clandestine cigarette production lines/equipment was seized, and 22 foreign nationals detained, mostly Moldovans and Ukrainians. Significant amounts of cash, a gun, and cars were also seized in the Czech Republic and Moldova.

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