Flourishing Trade in Untaxed Cigarettes
Smuggled cigarettes cause enormous tax losses, as recent reports from German customs offices show. The Hanover Customs Investigation Office, for example, has arrested two individuals accused of professional tax evasion. The pair are believed to have sold almost 15 million untaxed cigarettes, corresponding to tax losses of around 2.3 million euros.
In recent months, other major customs offices have also reported tax evasion offenses. In Münster, for example, civil servants confiscated a total of 67,000 cigarettes. And this problem has existed for a long time. As recently as in March, five members of an international smuggling gang were sentenced to a total of more than 19 years in prison. They had traded around 114 million illegal cigarettes in recent years and caused a total tax loss of 18.7 million euros.
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