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Six Romanian, Moldovan nationals sent to court for illegal production of cigarettes

Six Romanian and Moldovan citizens have been sent to court by Romania's Department for Investigation of Organised Crime and Terror (DIICOT) prosecutors in a case in which they are accused of establishing a criminal group specialising in the illegal production of cigarettes.

DIICOT reported on Friday that under a Wednesday's indictment, prosecutors of its Iasi local offices ordered six people to be sent to court (five in pre-trial detention and one under judicial control - three Romanian nationals, two Moldovan nationals and a dual Romanian-Moldovan citizen), for establishing an organised criminal group, unfair competition, the production of excisable products and the possession outside fiscal warehouse of taxable products.

The prosecutors note in their indictment that in September 2021 a trans-frontier organised criminal group consisting of Romanian, Moldovan and Ukrainian nationals was established in Romania with the aim of illicitly producing, outside the fiscal warehouse, counterfeit cigarettes by commissioning clandestine factories for the production and packaging of cigarettes, as well as the management of the processes related to the illegal manufacturing of cigarettes, namely the purchase/transport/manufacturing/making available of raw materials and equipment/machinery used in the clandestine manufacturing of cigarettes, which were later sold in other European Union member states.

In July 2021, the investigators say, the group purchased a cigarette factory that they set up and put into operation in December of the same year in a hall in a former livestock complex, located at Humulesti, Neamt County.

January-April 5, the organised criminal group would have illegally manufactured 1,907,944 cigarettes using a protected brand in order to mislead the other traders and the beneficiaries, Agerpres.

The fraud is put at 3,903,974 RON.

The prosecutors mention that the indictment requested the special confiscation of cigarettes, tobacco, assets used in the manufacture of cigarettes and the assets used in the transport of cigarettes (cigarette packing and wrapping, cigarette making, tobacco curing, tobacco shredding machinery, three vehicles, 3,865.60 kg of tobacco, the entire amount of cigarettes produced).

The case was submitted to the Neamt Court for a resolution.


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