European commission — olaf — two charged in spain for smuggling 70 million cigarettes

In an investigation coordinated by the European Anti Fraud Office (OLAF), Spanish Customs, Vigilancia Aduanera, has seized 50 million cigarettes suspected to have been destined for the illicit market in the EU. In addition to the 50 million cigarettes seized, two further containers with 20 million cigarettes ordered by the same criminal gang were identified.

Customs authorities in Spain initially seized 4 containers of cigarettes (40 million) and, during the investigation that followed, were able to seize a further 10 million cigarettes.

«The shipping containers were declared to be carrying humanitarian aid on the customs documents that accompanied them» said Nicholas Ilett, acting Director General of OLAF «This case demonstrates the extent to which criminals will sink in their attempts to make a profit. This is a great result for Spanish Customs, and for French and Greek customs which assisted with the investigation. It is also a great result for OLAF and European taxpayers because the loss of some 10 million has been prevented».

The suspicions of Spanish Customs were first aroused because of the unusual routing of the containers. The 10 month investigation which followed uncovered a series of transactions and brass plate companies, as well as several false documents which had been presented to customs authorities. OLAF coordinated EU missions to Greece and Dubai with the Spanish investigators in order to obtain the evidence necessary to bring the case before the Spanish Courts.

Two people have been indicted by the criminal court in Spain in relation to this case. Under Spanish law, smuggling charges can be brought in relation to all 7 containers of cigarettes.

Head of Unit Spokesman, Communication, Public Relations
European Anti Fraud Office (OLAF)
Rue Joseph II, 30 B 1049 Brussels (Belgium)
Phone 32 2 296 72 00
Fax 32 2 2998101
E mail olaf press

European parliament refuses to classify e-cigarettes as medicines « ethics & health law news

BMJ 2013 347 f6106 9 October 2013

Author Rory Watson

«The European parliament has strongly backed moves to make smoking less attractive to young people but has rejected the health commissioner s call to have electronic cigarettes classified as medicines.

The MEPs vote in Strasbourg on Tuesday 8 October came after months of lobbying by major tobacco manufacturers to try to water down and delay the European Union s attempts to strengthen the existing legislation on tobacco products&#8230 «

Find article here.

This entry was posted on October 10, 2013, 10 09 pm and is filed under Commerce & Health, European health services, Harm minimisation, Health Law, Health Services, New Legislation, Policy, Public Health, Tobacco. You can follow any responses to this entry through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.