Cigarette smuggling ring busted

26th November 2004, Comments 0 comments

6 December 2004, FRANKFURT - A smuggling gang that sneaked 180 million cigarettes into Germany hidden in building materials has been broken up thanks to the extradition of a 45-year-old Polish national to face German charges, customs agents said. The agents have spent four years tracking down the gang, which operated between 1997 and 2001. The German chiefs of the group have already been caught and convicted, but the overall boss had to be tracked down in the Ukraine. Kiev extradited him a week ago. Tobacc

6 December 2004

FRANKFURT - A smuggling gang that sneaked 180 million cigarettes into Germany hidden in building materials has been broken up thanks to the extradition of a 45-year-old Polish national to face German charges, customs agents said.

The agents have spent four years tracking down the gang, which operated between 1997 and 2001. The German chiefs of the group have already been caught and convicted, but the overall boss had to be tracked down in the Ukraine. Kiev extradited him a week ago.

Tobacco is a popular item for smuggling because of high taxes in Germany. The state lost revenues of EUR 19 million when street hawkers sold the bootleg cigarettes to smokers.

Showing a roomful of captured cigarettes, customs agents said they had been found in hollowed-out timber, six-metre-long pipes and in building panels on trucks carrying building supplies from Ukraine to Germany. 

DPA

Subject: German news 

 

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