• May 28, 2024

European Authorities Seize Illegal Cigarettes

 European Authorities Seize Illegal Cigarettes
Photo: Tobacco Reporter archive

Law enforcement authorities seized 37 million illegal cigarettes worth €12.9 million ($15.4 million) and 1.8 tons of tobacco in a 10-day operation led by Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency with the support of Europol.

The operation, known as JAD Arktos 2 and coordinated from Frontex’s headquarters in Warsaw, was co-led by Latvia and Finland and saw the involvement of border guards, police and customs officers from Poland, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania and Slovakia.

JAD Arktos 2 took place between Nov. 16-25 and targeted excise fraud, particularly tobacco smuggling, document fraud and migrant smuggling at selected border crossing points at EU’s eastern land borders.

Since this operation focused predominantly on identifying criminal activities related to excise fraud, the Analysis Project Smoke within Europol’s European Financial and Economic Crime Center supported this operation by facilitating the cross-checking of entities against Europol’s databases.

The operation was coordinated under the umbrella of the European Multidisciplinary Platform against Criminal Threats as part of the EU Policy Cycle, a four-year plan for the fight against serious and organized crime. It brings together police and law enforcement authorities of EU member states, European agencies and international organizations to jointly strengthen Europe’s borders and internal security.