Close to 66 million counterfeit cigarettes seized by Belgian customs
Thursday, 09 October 2014
On Wednesday, FPS Finance announced that Belgian customs has seized close to 66 million counterfeit cigarettes in a joint operation carried out by European and Asian customs. Belgian Customs participated in this international operation called JCO REPLICA, coordinated by the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF). This operation took place in the ports of Antwerp and Zeebrugge. During this operation, Antwerp inspection services seized counterfeit brands of Marlboro, L & M and Mayfair.
During the first week of this operation 25 million cigarettes were found in a warehouse. Subsequently, four containers holding 40 million cigarettes were also discovered by Antwerp customs.
In Europe, a total of 130 million cigarettes have been seized. According to the SPF Finance, this fraud circumvented € 22 million worth of customs fees.