Press Release: Customs Officials seized 217,460 contraband cigarettes from Zurrieq and Mqabba during a 15 hours operation.

  • 217,460 cigarettes
  • 84 packets of roll-your-own tobacco
  • €51,652 of endangered taxes
Yesterday morning, Customs Enforcement officials proceeded to Zurrieq to search a van which was suspected of carrying contraband cigarettes. Upon searching the vehicle a total of 100,000 cigarettes, bearing no excise stamps, were elevated and seized alongside the vehicle. A subsequent search in an Imqabba residence belonging to the owner of the vehicle resulted in another small haul of 140 contraband cigarettes.

Later during the day, after requesting assistance by the Police Economic Crimes Unit, the Officials conducted two other searches in a Swieqi and Zurrieq residences. The Swieqi search resulted in the negative, while further 117,320 contraband cigarettes and 84 packets of roll your own tobacco were found stashed on the roof and around the residence.

The endangered taxes – Import Duty, Excise Duty and VAT, amount to €51,652.

A total of 217,460 contraband cigarettes were seized and two men were placed under arrest.

The operation lasted for 15 hours.

This is yet another positive result following joint operations with the Police Economic Crimes Unit, last month 318,940 were elevated during a similar operation in Qormi.