Customs officials seize 3,580 contraband cigarettes, 14kg of shisha tobacco and 272 alcohol bottles

The items were seized following inspections by customs officials in several different outlets in Gzira, Qormi, St Julian’s, Sliema, Valletta and Paola

The items were seized after inspections by customs officials at several establishments in Malta
The items were seized after inspections by customs officials at several establishments in Malta

Customs officials have seized contraband cigarettes, shisha tobacco and hundreds of alcohol bottles following inspections in several different outlets in a number of towns around Malta.

Twenty-three searches in outlets including supermarkets, bars and restaurants in Gzira, Qormi, St Julian’s, Valletta and Paola led to the seizure of several excise items including 3,580 contraband cigarettes, 14kg of shisha tobacco and 272 bottles of alcoholic beverages, including whisky, gin, rum, brandy and several liqueurs.

The officials also seized 221 bottles which didn’t have their excise tax paid, 1,230 non-alcoholic drinks, 2,393 plastic bags and 725 unused excise stamps.

In a statement on Monday, the customs department said it was encouraging  all operators and establishments importing or selling excise goods, to make sure that their business is in order.

“There will be zero tolerance for unpaid excise dues or mismanagement of excise stamps,” it added.

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