Romanian Border Police dismantle ciminal groups specializing in cigarette smuggling
The border policemen from the Territorial Service of the Suceava Border Police, under the coordination of the prosecutors from DIICOT – Suceava Territorial Service, dismantled three criminal groups that carried out illicit activities in the field of cigarette smuggling and that operated in Suceava County.
34 home searches were carried out on the members of the groups, in several locations in Suceava County, attended by border guards from the Territorial Service of the Suceava Border Police, workers from BCCO Suceava and Iasi and gendarmes from the Mobile Gendarmes Groups Suceava and Botosani .
During the monitoring of the criminal activity, the border police discovered and detained in order to confiscate approximately 40,000 packs of contraband cigarettes, from outside the community.
Mode of operation
Following some informative-operative activities carried out between September 2019 and July 2020, the border policemen from the Territorial Service of the Suceava Border Police, under the coordination of the prosecutors from DIICOT- Suceava Territorial Service, in cooperation with the Office for Combating Organized Crime from within the Suceava and Iaşi IPJ, they carried out specific actions for documenting the criminal activity of some criminal groups that carried out illicit activities in the sphere of cigarette smuggling from outside the community.
In fact, the documents in question showed indications of the existence and functioning of three criminal groups that were constantly operating in Suceava County, in order to illegally introduce cigarettes in Romania, across the border line, in Costileva, commune Ulma.
The three groups, formed by family structures, were joined by several Ukrainian citizens, coordinated by one person. The latter had the role of procuring cigarettes and coordinating and carrying out the activity of introducing them in the country. After the introduction of cigarettes into the country, some members of the three groups picked them up from the border area and transported them to warehouses within the Costileva locality, while other members supervised the border area and the communication routes in the area.
Following specific judicial monitoring activities and interim seizures, the quantity of approximately 40,000 packs of cigarettes, various brands , was confiscated.
The documentation activity was concluded on July 9 this year, when 34 home searches were carried out on the members of the groups, in several locations in Suceava County, and a number of 22 people were taken for questioning .
So far, following the searches, 60 boxes of cigarettes of different brands, significant amounts of money in lei and foreign currency, as well as several cars were discovered and seized / made unavailable in order to continue the research.
In this case, investigations are carried out in the aspect of committing the offenses of forming an organized criminal group and aggravating smuggling.
The investigations continue, under the coordination of the DIICOT prosecutors – Suceava Territorial Service, in order to document the entire criminal area and to recover the damage.
The Specialized Support was provided by the Special Operations Department.