Close to €13 million worth of cigarettes seized at EU’s eastern borders

08 December 2020
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Press Release/News

This News/Press release is about Economic Crime

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Law enforcement authorities seized 37 millions of illegal cigarettes and more than 3.5 thousand litres of illegal fuel this month in a ten-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, Slovakia. 

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

Results of the seizures

  • 37 million cigarettes worth €12.9 million
  • 3.5 thousand litres of illegal fuel
  • 1.8 tonnes of tobacco

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 (EFECC) 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 (EMPACT) as part of the EU Policy Cycle, a four-year plan for the fight against serious and organised crime. It brings together police and law enforcement authorities of EU Member States, European agencies and international organisations to jointly strengthen Europe’s borders and internal security. The results and intelligence gathered will help in ongoing and future investigations.