On Thursday, the FIOD seized about 45 million cigarettes during a major operation in the South Holland. The three were also arrested over suspicion of smuggling cigarettes of large proportions, and FIOD, among other things, seized 130,000 euros in cash and two trucks. The truck driver was arrested in Rotterdam.
According to the tax investigation service, a group of criminals smuggled cigarettes into the Netherlands via sea containers, after which they were sold on the Dutch and European markets. Cigarettes are illegal because no sales tax is paid. According to FIOD, in this way, EUR 11 million has been taxed.
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A spokesman for the service is talking about a "big catch". Catch this Thursday is more than half of what FIOD took over in 2017. That same year, the investigation department took 75 million cigarettes. In 2016 it was even less: 17 million. The increase in seizure can be explained by the fact that FIOD established a special team in 2016 to combat cigarette smuggling.
Last month, the cigarette factory was welded in the Lithoien district of Brabant. In the warehouse, FIOD has found 8 million illegal cigarettes. The cigarettes taken by FIOD are destroyed. It's hard to say the exact size of cigarette smuggling in the Netherlands.
According to KPMG research, the accounting firm, paid by the tobacco industry, traded 44.7 billion cigarettes annually in the EU.