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January 18, 2022

30 people indicted, four clandestine cigarette factories closed down

Organised Crime and Ter­rorism Investigation Department (DIICOT) prosecutors at the end of last week indicted 30 Romanian, Moldovan and Ukrainian citizens involved in cigarette contraband and also ordered four clandestine cigarette factories closed down. Prosecutors announ­ced that they have managed to dismantle a trans-border organised criminal group specialised in cigarette smuggling. According to prosecutors, the defendants set up the group in order to obtain substantial material benefits by opening several clandestine cigarette factories and by manufacturing and selling counterfeit cigarettes, thus avoiding payments of any sorts of taxes to the state budget. Leaders of the group brought the equipment used in manufacturing and packaging cigarettes, along with raw materials and other materials used in the process, from Russia and the Republic of Moldova. The cigarette manufacturing lines were set up outside bonded warehouses in Titu – Dambovita County, Tulghes –Harghita County, Horezu – Valcea County and Preotesti – Neamt County, after which they were transported to Suceava. During home raids conducted by DIICOT prosecutors, investigators seized five cigarette manufacturing and packaging installations (three in Harghita, two in Suceava), a full manufacturing line (Valcea), 20 tonnes of tobacco and significant quantities of cigarettes, fiscal stamps, filters and others. Following the DIICOT action, the four clandestine factories were closed down. According to investigators, the group caused almost RON 10 M in losses to the state budget.

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