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SPAIN

Customs land record contraband tobacco haul

11 Jul 2017. Customs officers from the Spanish Tax Agency made a record seizure of contraband tobacco products in the Bay of Cadiz that, according to the revenue department, represents between one-quarter and one-third of what normally is seized in a year.

Six thousand crates containing more than 3.2 million packs of contraband tobacco were secured in an operation assisted by British authorities and the agency for EU border management known by the acronym FRONTEX. The seizure was valued at EUR 12 million (USD 13.7 million). It was described as the largest seizure ever by the Tax Agency.

Surveillance began 24 June off the coast of Tunisia when three vessels were spotted transferring tobacco, the government statement said. Customs officials boarded a tugboat towing a larger craft in early hours of 5 July in the Bay of Cadiz. Six people were arrested.