Cigarette and tobacco smuggling is still present at Romania's border with Hungary, the large quantities discovered, as well as the methods through which it was attempted to introduce and take them in/out of the country, proves the fact that this phenomenon increased in 2022, the activity report of the Oradea Border Police Territorial Inspectorate (ITPF) shows.
According to the quoted source, in the reference period, four cases of illicit traffic with tobacco products were registered, these being both on the way in and out of the country through the Nadlac II Border Crossing Point (PTF) and the Valea lui Mihai PTF, these falling into the criminal acts category, told Agerpres.
The border policemen seized for confiscation 600,000 cigarettes and the quantity of impounded tobacco reaches over 28,000 kilograms.
The largest haul of sized tobacco was registered at the Nadlac II PTF, when a Bulgarian citizen (accompanied by a co-national) attempted to take out of the country 22,240 kilograms of hookah tobacco, worth approximately 2.9 million EUR, for which he had no documents of origin. The entire amount of tobacco was taken in order to continue investigations and a criminal case was open for the persons in question under the aspect of committing crimes in the category of smuggling and customs fraud, economic and financial offenses, respectively.
In June, at the Oradea ITPF, another case of cigarette smuggling was recorded, this one being detected on the way into Romania, at the Bors II PTF. Thus, a Ukrainian citizen arrive at the border control with a Mercedes-Benz van, registered in Romania, and as a result of the thorough control conducted by the border policemen, 600,000 unstamped cigarettes of Marlboro brand were discovered inside the cargo compartment, in parcels. Following the investigations, it was established that the person in question took over the van from Hungary and claimed that he had no knowledge of the quantity of cigarettes discovered by the Romanian border policemen. A criminal case was opened in this regard, as a result of committing smuggling.
The Oradea ITPF also points out the fact that in most of the cases of tobacco and tobacco products smuggling discovered in 2022, the cigarettes and tobacco were hidden in vehicles, in specially arranged locations and in cardboard boxes. In terms of modes of operation, the cigarette packets were placed inside the cargo compartment covered with a tarpaulin, in a specially arranged plywood compartment or behind a screen arranged for this purpose by the driver, or in various places in the vehicles.
In conclusion to this chapter, the Oradea ITPF shows that, compared to 2021, both the number of cases of cigarettes smuggling and the quantity of cigarettes register a substantial downward trend, however, it is still present, but, in respect to the illicit traffic in tobacco and tobacco products, there is an increase in the number of people involved and, implicitly, in the amount impounded.