OLAF Supports Strike against Cigarette Smuggling in Ukraine
On 9 July 2020, OLAF reported on its role in the successful strike against cigarette smuggling in the Ukraine. Having been alerted of a suspicious shipment from the Arab United Emirates via Ukranian Black Sea ports with a final destination in Transnistria/Moldova, OLAF provided intelligence analyses and asked the Ukraine customs authorities to take action with regard to the shipment. The Ukrainian authorities seized over 1.7 million packets of cigarettes (totalling 34,550,000 cigarettes) that were to be smuggled into the EU via the Transnistrian region. The revenue loss is estimated at around €7 million. It was also revealed that the cigarettes were missing all requirements for legal sale in the EU, such as excise labels and health warnings with texts/pictures.