THE European Commission (EC) has released the results of Operation "Warehouse," a major joint customs operation which it says has prevented large losses to the budgets of the European Union and member states with the seizure of 45 million smuggled cigarettes, 135,000 litres of diesel fuel and 14,000 litres of vodka.
Operation Warehouse was carried out in October 2013 by the Lithuanian Customs Service and the Lithuanian Tax Inspectorate in close co-operation with the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) and with the participation of all 28 EU member states.
The operation focused on road-borne cargo and targeted the smuggling and other forms of illegal trade of excise goods such as mineral oil, tobacco products and alcohol, throughout Europe. Eight seizures were made during the operation.
Among these, 6.6 million cigarettes in Sweden and Lithuania, out of a total of 45 million, 135,000 litres of diesel in Poland and the UK and 14,000 litres of vodka in the UK alone.
According to preliminary estimates, this would have amounted to EUR9 million (US$12.3 million) in the form of evaded customs duties and taxes, reports Lloyd's Loading List.
Source : HKSG.