EUR 4 mln worth of smuggled cigarettes found in Poland-bound truck in Lithuania

  • 2023-08-25
  • BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS – Lithuanian customs officers have found 4 million euros worth of smuggled Belarusian cigarettes inside a Poland-bound truck in Lithuania, the Customs Criminal Service said on Friday.

On August 20, A DAF truck driven by a Belarusian citizen arrived at the Raigardas road post and declared that he was taking 11.6 tons (290 rolls) of polyester fiber to Poland via Lithuania. When customs officers checked the vehicle, they found the polyester rolls stacked at the back of the semi-trailer to disguise smuggled cigarettes, the service said.

On Thursday, it emerged that a total of 1,934 boxes (967,000 packs) of cigarettes were inside the vehicle and they included 11 types of Belarusian cigarettes.

The DAF driver was detained for two days but was later released on a 15,000 euro bail. The pre-trial investigation is ongoing.

The inflow of smuggled goods has gone up recently, the service says.

"While in the past, consignments of smuggled goods of this size (around one million packs) used to arrive several times a year, and now we intercept them every month," the report states.

On August 6, Lithuanian customs officers also detained a consignment of 891,000 packs of cigarettes worth around 3.5 million euros in Salcininkai. Moreover, 1 million cigarette packs worth more than 4 million euros were seized in Kybartai on July 29, and 850,000 packs of illegal cigarettes were seized in Prienai on June 30.