More than a million packs of smuggled cigarettes were found by Baltic customs officers
In April 2020 the Baltic customs officers (Saint-Petersburg) prevented illegal transportation to Europe of more than 1 million 130 thousand packs of Belarusian cigarettes. The fraudsters tried to smuggle cigarettes in pine and oak lumber, in metal panels for noise insulation and in rolls of fiberglass.
On April 15-16 a container with pine planks bound for the Netherlands was detained at the Baltic customs. After its inspection with the x-ray the customs officers found approximately 1.5 thousand boards with 86 thousand packs of cigarettes embedded in them.
On April 18-19 officers of the Gavan customs post carried out an x-ray inspection of a container with oak planks that was being sent to the UK. As a result customs officers found about 108 thousand packs of Belarusian cigarettes of “Minsk” brand in the pallets with boards. As part of further operational measures, the warehouse was also found where the illegal goods were packed.
On April 22-23, 2020 about 11 tons of Belarusian cigarettes “Minsk capital” and “NZ” brands were found in 480 steel noise – absorbing acoustic road panels at the Lesnoy port customs post in a container planned to be sent to Belgium, according to the results of the x-ray inspection.
On April 24-28 customs officers at the Turukhtanny customs post inspected container with rolls of fiberglass insulation that was EN route to Slovenia. 175 thousand packs of cigarettes of “Minsk” brand were found.
Customs officials have initiated a number of criminal cases to investigate tobacco smuggling. Investigative actions are underway.
Ruslan Davydov, the first Deputy Head of the Russian Customs Service: "The discovery of more than 1 million packs of cigarettes with Belarusian excise stamps in the Baltic customs region in April 2020 is the result of systematic work of customs authorities to identify smuggling schemes. In order to prevent illicit tobacco trafficking the customs authorities act in accordance with the action plan to counteract the illicit traffic in tobacco products."