SBU blocks powerful channel for smuggling cigarettes to the European Union and seizes production amounting to UAH 70 million (video)
Employees of the Main Department for Combating Corruption and Organized Crime of the Security Service of Ukraine blocked the operation of a powerful channel for smuggling cigarettes to the countries of the European Union.
Special service operatives have established that an organized group of people associated with international criminal groups has regulated the supply of cigarettes to Ukraine from other countries of well-known international brands outside the customs control without payment of the corresponding compulsory payments. In the future, the dealers planned to transport products to the EU countries through the state border in the Transcarpathian region, to sale a part in "black" market in our country.
While carrying out authorized searches on an illegal "wholesale base" in the border district of Transcarpathian region, which was used by smugglers for the accumulation of goods and the formation of cargoes, law enforcement officers seized more than ten thousand boxes of cigarettes of different brands and producers without excise duty stamps and without corresponding documents. The estimated cost of seized products comprises seventy million hryvnias. Besides thirteen trucks, transporting excisable products were detected.
This is the largest consignment of smuggled cigarettes seized by the SBU throughout history of Ukraine's Independence. Within the last month, the reformed units of the SBU for Combating Corruption and Organized Crime have significantly improved the effectiveness of countering smuggling to Europe, in particular tobacco products. We remind that a week ago the SBU terminated the functioning of a powerful channel for smuggling cigarettes to the EU countries and seized counterfeit products in Odesa region amounting to fifty million hryvnias.
The urgent investigative actions within the framework of criminal proceedings initiated under Part 1 of Art. 204 and Part 1 of Art. 364 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine for revealing corruption links between organizers of the smuggling channel and officials of the controlling bodies at the state border are under way.
The operation was conducted jointly with the investigators of the territorial unit of the State Bureau of Investigations in Khmelnytskyi under the procedural guidance of prosecutors of the General Prosecutor's Office.
SBU Press Centre
For the Attention of the SBU Head