Customs and TradeNews

Home searches in a criminal case concerning 64 shipments containing more than 328 tons of unprocessed tobacco

Over 100 border police officers implement 23 home search warrants in a criminal case aimed at breaking up a tobacco product smuggling network.

The investigations target several Romanian and Bulgarian citizens who, starting in 2022, organized and introduced into Romania 64 shipments of 328,780 kilograms of unprocessed tobacco, for the purpose of processing it in various clandestine units. The criminal group delivered tobacco from Bulgaria to Romania, using supporting documents for goods that falsely certified that the goods had external beneficiaries, in order to create fictitious commercial circuits that would mislead law enforcement authorities or by evading border control formalities. Thus, it was established that the tobacco was delivered to beneficiaries in the area of ​​Ilfov, Călăraşi and Dolj counties, later being processed in clandestine units,

As a result of the searches, important quantities of processed and unprocessed tobacco, installations used in its processing and other evidence useful to the case were identified.

During August 16 and 17, 2023, under the coordination of the case prosecutor from the PÎCCJ – Criminal Investigation and Forensic Section, the criminal investigation bodies from the Romanian Border Police and specialized workers from the Romanian Gendarmerie implemented a number of 23 home search warrants in a case in which investigations are carried out regarding the commission of the following crimes:

  • the production of excisable products that fall under the warehousing regime, outside a fiscal warehouse authorized by the competent authority;
  • the possession by any person or the sale on the territory of Romania of excisable products subject to marking, according to this title, with the exception of those held in the fiscal warehouse, without being marked or marked improperly or with false markings over the limit of 10,000 cigarettes, 400 cigarettes 3 grams, 200 leaf cigarettes larger than 3 grams, smoking tobacco over 1 kg, ethyl alcohol over 40 liters, spirits over 200 liters, intermediate products over 300 liters, fermented beverages other than beer and wines, over 300 liters ;
  • breaking seals;
  • forgery in documents under private signature;
  • fraudulent crossing of the state border.

The technical support was provided by the workers of the Special Operations Directorate within the IGPR, as well as by the inspectors of the Romanian Customs Authority, and the international cooperation activities were carried out with the support of OLAF – the European Anti-Fraud Office and SELEC – the South-East European Center of Law Enforcement and the General Directorate for Combating Organized Crime in Bulgaria.