Tax Authority investigative service seizes 20 million illegal cigarettes

Twenty million illegal cigarettes and 23,000 kilograms of tobacco were seized by the FIOD, the investigative service of the Tax Authority, after an inspection by the customs authorities. The haul was found in a business park shed in Haarlemmermeer on Thursday, according to the FIOD.

The shed contained pallets of boxes wrapped in plastic. Inside the boxes, the cigarettes and tobacco were packed in copious amounts of packing material.

No one was arrested, and it is still unknown what country the boxes were headed to. The authorities calculate that around 8.6 million euros of excise duties could have been evaded, had the cigarettes and tobacco been sold on the Dutch market. According to the FIOD, such trade of illegal cigarettes –– and the practice of evading excise duties and sales tax –– makes a large profit for criminals and puts a dent in the treasury.

The cigarettes and tobacco were removed from the premises and are being destroyed.