The smuggling of over 18 tons of dried tobacco across Europe thwarted

The smuggling of over 18 tons of dried tobacco with a value of nearly PLN 9.5 million was thwarted, 13 people detained – this is the result of the cooperation of the Polish Nadodrzański Border Guard Department with the National Tax Administration and the Investigative Customs Office in Dresden and Gorlitz under the supervision of the National Prosecutor’s Office.

The Border Guard from the facility in Tuplice, together with the National Tax Administration from Zielona Góra, broke up an organized criminal group dealing with the distribution of illegal excise goods. Their activities in the territory of three countries were based on a precise pattern – bank accounts in the Czech Republic, tobacco and warehouses in Germany, and the sales market in Poland. The first activities carried out by officers of both services, in June and July, in the Lubuskie voivodship, resulted in the disclosure of 12 tonnes of raw tobacco without Polish excise stamps, with an estimated value of over PLN 6.2 million, and the detention of 8 people. In the course of further activities, the investigators established that the group also operates in Silesia. Due to this, the Border Guard officers from Tuplice together with the KAS officers from Katowice and CBŚP carried out another action, this time in the Śląskie Voivodeship. As a result of searches of several properties, nearly 1.4 tonnes of tobacco of unknown origin, worth almost PLN 800,000, were revealed and another 5 people were arrested. Customs officers from the German Investigation Bureau in Dresden and Gorlitz were also involved in the action. Thanks to this, on July 8 in Germany,

The detained persons were brought to the Wielkopolska Branch of the Organized Crime and Corruption Department of the National Public Prosecutor’s Office in Poznań, where they heard accusations of participation in an organized criminal group dealing with the distribution of illegal excise goods. The investigation in this case was conducted by officers of the Border Guard and KAS from May 2017. The cooperation allowed both to stop individual transports and to reveal the entire complicated mechanism of the criminals’ activity.

The case is developmental. So far, a total of 64 tons of dried and 7 tons of cut tobacco have been disclosed, worth PLN 35.5 million. More than PLN 950,000 in cash was secured, and 41 people were charged with participation in an organized criminal group.