EU loses EUR 10 billion annually from cigarette smuggling ..

February 8, 2010 - "Cigarette smuggling causes losses of EUR 10 billion annually to the European Union (EU). The geographic distribution of cigarette smuggling, however, has a transnational dimension," said Wolfgang Hetzer, OLAF's (European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF)).

Anti-corruption Advisor, at a seminar "OLAF - facing European citizens. OLAF Facing the European Citizens. Fight against Smuggling and Illegal Cigarettes Production. Experience of Germany and the Czech Republic”, FOCUS News Agency reported announced.

Most cases against cigarette smuggling have been instituted in Luxembourg and Belgium. The main purpose of internal investigations on cigarette smuggling (16% in 2007) were trials of cigarette smuggling in five EU member states - Belgium, Bulgaria, Italy, Germany and Romania. There is 13% of annual loss in customs revenue. The international cigarette smuggling has a major impact on the incomes collected by national budgets.

"The EU revenue reports on EUR10 billion annual loss. These are hundreds of TIR trucks and containers ", Wolfgang Hetzer said. In 2007, 4,7 billion of cigarettes were seized, and in 2008 - 5,2 million. 100 million illegal cigarettes worth EUR 30 billion Last year could have been confiscated.

Reference: EU loses EUR 10 billion annually from cigarette smuggling, Galina DIMOVA Foc us News Agenct, 1/29/2010.