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Border policemen from the Border Police Territorial Inspectorate of Sighetu (municipality, Maramureș County, Romania) discovered and seized approximately 46,000 packets of counterfeit cigarettes of Ukrainian origin, with a value amounting to 517,100 lei (€ 113,000). The cigarettes were seized during a two-day operation, part of the ‘Counterfeit 2017’ Action Plan.
During 20 - 22 June 2017, several missions to tackle cigarette smuggling were carried out by the Border Police Territorial Inspectorate of Sighetu Marmației at Romania's border with Ukraine, as part of the ‘Counterfeit 2017’ Action Plan.
In the evening of June 21 2017, a team of border policemen from the Territorial Service of Border Police Suceava County spotted several individuals who were attempting to transport large packages across the border, into Romania.
The border policemen attempted to first intercept them by repeatedly asking them to stop, in accordance to the legal procedure in place. As the individuals did not stop, a warning shot was fired, again according to legal procedure.
As a result, one individual was detained, a 24 year-old Ukrainian citizen. The man was detained after attempted to escape by assaulting one of the policemen. In the surrounding area, the policemen discovered and seized 26 large packages, which contained 15,489 packets of cigarettes of Ukrainian origin, with a value of approximately 182.000 lei (€ 48,000).
Ukrainian border authorities were informed of the findings, in order to pursue a joint investigation.
The Romanian border policemen are currently investigating several charges in relation to the above mentioned action, including felony smuggling, illegal border crossing and assaulting an officer. The appropriate charges will be filed in the case at the end of the investigation.
During the action the border policemen benefited from the support of the Mobile Brigade of Gendarmerie Bacău County.
On the same evening, a two-man team from the Sighetu Marmatiei Sectoral Border Police spotted three individuals and several large packages, containing packets of cigarettes, on the banks of the river Tisa.
The border policemen proceeded to apprehend them. With this purpose, three warning shots were fired in air, in accordance with legal provisions, after the men did not obey the policemen's repeated, verbal warnings to stop.
When the shots were fired, the men abandoned their load and escaped by withdrawing into Ukraine.
The Ukrainian authorities were informed of the event immediately. At that place, six packages were found and seized containing 3,000 packets of cigarettes of Ukrainian origin, with a value of 35,100 lei (€ 7,660).
Investigations are currently made to identify the persons involved and to understand the full scope of their criminal activity.
During the same series of actions under the direction of the Border Police Territorial Inspectorate of Sighetu Marmației, policemen detected and seized 27,010 packets of cigarettes of Ukrainian origin, with a value of 300,000 lei (€ 65,472).
The cigarettes were seized and investigations are being made to identify the persons involved and to map out the full scope of their criminal activity.
- Publication date
- 31 August 2017
- European Anti-Fraud Office
- News type
- Partner's press release