Customs seize cigarettes smuggled from China

20th May 2005, Comments 0 comments

20 May 2005, MUNICH - German customs agents intercepted a huge haul of some 30 million smuggled cigarettes and arrested eight suspects, the country's customs authority said on Friday in Munich.

20 May 2005

MUNICH - German customs agents intercepted a huge haul of some 30 million smuggled cigarettes and arrested eight suspects, the country's customs authority said on Friday in Munich.

The authority said it was one of the biggest hauls ever in the southern German state of Bavaria, but that the case was "also of nationwide significance".

In raids undertaken on Wednesday and Thursday, agents searched 15 locations in the greater Munich area. Most of the smuggled cigarettes bore forged labels and had been shipped in containers from China.

Germany was thought to be only an intermediate stopping point for the cigarettes, with their final destination to be Britain, where profit margins are higher because cigarettes there are more expensive, the customs authority said.

The officials said they believe the smuggling ring was responsible for shipments of nearly 90 million cigarettes over the past year, with damage to the economy in terms of lost tax revenues of around EUR 22 million.

DPA

Subject: German news

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