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[WATCH] Malta Customs destroys 12 million black market cigarettes

Almost 6,000 cigarettes, 5.3 kilos of tobacco and 205 litres of wine seized by Customs

amy_micallef_decesare
Amy Micallef Decesare
6 September 2017, 3:06pm
Seized contraband cigarettes being destroyed at Metalco
A campaign being run by the Customs Department against the import, sale and consumption of smuggled goods, in particular tobacco products and wine goes on.

Over the last two weeks, almost 6,000 cigarettes, of which 2,800 were intercepted at the airport before entering the country, 13 cartons, of 200 cigarettes each were seized when a crew member of a ship attempting to smuggle them out of the Freeport gate was intercepted. Another 500 cigarettes were seized from a shop in Zabbar. Those seized from the crew member were of the L & M brand and those from the Zabbar shop were Burton, Tradition and Business Royals.

Photo: James Bianchi
Photo: James Bianchi
205 litres of wine, upon which excise duty was not paid, were also seized. 105 litres were found in Hal-Farrug and another 90 in Siggiewi. In the former, the wine was being sold to the public and in the latter, it was being stored in a warehouse. Another 10 litres of wine were found in another establishment in Birkirkara.

Photo: James Bianchi
Photo: James Bianchi
The following locations were visited by Customs officers: the airport, Freeport, Birkirkara, Bugibba, Hamrun, Mosta, Luqa, Siggiewi, Zejtun and Zabbar.

Today, the media was invited to witness the destruction of 11,667,748 cigarettes and 77 kilos of contraband tobacco.

Photo: James Bianchi
Photo: James Bianchi
The Customs Department reiterated that smuggling was a serious criminal offense which, in the case of being found guilty before the Court, carries severe tax penalties, forfeiture of conveyance, confiscation of the device storage and even a custodial sentence.

If you would like to assist the Department in its work, contact  2568 5124 or 2568 5200 anonymously.