This Is How The EU Stopped 1.2 Million Smuggled Cigarettes From Entering Poland


operation barrel cigarettes poland european commission

Photo: European Commission

From October 18 to October 27, 2011, the European Anti-Fraud Office coordinated an effort to combat smuggling and fraud, which resulted in the confiscation of 1.2 million cigarettes.  

Operation Barrel targeted smuggled goods crossing the border between Poland and the Ukraine. Smuggled tobacco products cost the EU about 10 billion euros in revenue losses each year. 

As trains cross the border between Ukraine and Poland, they pass under EU-funded scanner equipment.

The contents of the freight trains are sent to a border control point.

The information is then analysed by customs authorities.

The cigarettes were found on trains transporting wood and iron.

Some of the cigarettes were hidden in gas tanks.

Operation Barrel, the first joint customs operation of its kind targeting trains along EU Eastern border, focused on smuggling of tobacco products and synthetic drugs.

According to the European Commission, all 1.2 million cigarettes were destroyed as required by the Community Customs Code.

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