Gdańsk cops seize over 30 million illegal cigarettes during raid on ship from Singapore

The haul equaling almost 33 million cigarettes were found hidden inside shipping containers following a tip off that the illegal stash was on a ship sailing from Singapore. CBŚP

Over 30 million illegal cigarettes worth around PLN 25 million (EUR 5.3 million) have been seized cops and tax officials in the coastal city of Gdańsk.

The haul equaling almost 33 million cigarettes were found hidden inside shipping containers following a tip off that the illegal stash was on a ship sailing from Singapore.

According to shipping documents, the cargo was supposed to contain construction materials.CBŚP

According to shipping documents, the cargo was supposed to contain construction materials.

But Anita Wielanek from the tax and customs office said that once the containers were opened, "it turned out that instead of building materials, the load contained almost 33 million cigarettes without excise stamps."

Once the containers were opened, instead of building materials, the load contained almost 33 million cigarettes without excise stamps.CBŚP

Two lorry drivers, who were to take the containers, were detained by the Gdansk District Prosecutor's Office and charged with, among other offences, the handling of counterfeit goods.

The owner of the company who contracted the container was also arrested.

A spokesperson said: "The value of the confiscated goods amounted to nearly PLN 25 million (EUR 5.3 million).

Last month police also busted what they have described as Poland’s “most modern illegal cigarette factory” which was producing 5 million cigarettes a day.CBŚP

CBŚP

"If such an amount of illegal cigarettes were to hit the Polish market without paying VAT, excise taxes and customs duties, the State Treasury would have stood to lose PLN 40 million (EUR 8.5 million)."

Last month police also busted what they have described as Poland’s “most modern illegal cigarette factory” which was producing 5 million cigarettes a day.

Police said that the year-long joint operation with Slovak authorities against an international organized crime group resulted in’ the seizure of over 5.5 million cigarettes, 11 tons of cut tobacco and wholesale quantities of components used for the production of cigarettes.”