Dutch customs seize 20 million contraband cigarettes

10th November 2011, Comments 0 comments

Dutch customs officials said Thursday they seized more than 20 million contraband cigarettes in a city in the south of the Netherlands, which were apparently bound for the British market.

"Customs officials went to a hangar belonging to a transport company in Maarheeze and found a tractor trailer there, filled with cigarettes," a customs spokeswoman, Gera van Weenum, told AFP.

She said the seizure of the contraband cigarettes, which took place Tuesday evening, was "one of the biggest ever", adding: "Usually when we make a big seizure, in the port of Rotterdam for instance, we find 10 million cigarettes, not more."

The resale value of the cigarettes was estimated at four million euros ($5.4 million). It was not yet known where the cigarettes came from.

"We think that the cigarettes were meant to go to the British market but we need to wait for the results of the inquiry to be sure," the spokeswoman said.

No arrests have yet been made, she added.

In 2009 Dutch customs officials seized a total of around 210 million contraband cigarettes, officials said.

© 2011 AFP

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