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4 customs officers, 3 drivers detained as part of EUR 2.5 mln smuggling probe in Lithuania

BC, Vilnius, 23.09.2020.Print version
Lithuania's Customs Criminal Service has reported about a bold smuggling scheme and detention of four customs officers from the Raigardas road checkpoint, three drivers and seizure of cigarettes worth around 2.5 million euros, informs LETA/BNS.

Lithuanian officers say they uncovered a smart scheme that allowed trucks full of smuggled cigarettes enter Lithuania by switching vehicle's registration plates and documents.

Early September 16 morning, three trucks entered the Raigardas road checkpoint from Belarus one after another, one driven by a Belarusian citizens and the other two driven by Polish citizens. Two vehicles (DAF trucks) were identical and both declared transporting shipments of cast iron.

Customs officers suspected that a scheme was created to mask the transportation of smuggled cigarettes in one of the trucks when registration plates and documents would be switched within the checkpoint's territory as the plates were attached using magnetic holders, i.e., to be ready for their swift switch.

All three trucks were detained and checked and Belarusian cigarettes NZ Black Slim and Minsk Super Slims were found in one of them. The value of around 1,500 boxes with mandatory taxes stands at around 2.5 million euros.

A pre-trial investigation was launched and not only the three drivers but also four customs officers from the Raigardas road checkpoint were detained as they are suspected of a conspiracy with the smugglers and abuse of their official position.

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