From: Spanish News Today
Contraband cigarette sales blamed for falling tax revenue in Spain
Coughers are contributing less to Spanish government coffers
At the same time, there is a worry that the tax collection data do not reflect the real situation regarding smoking in Spain. This is because as taxes and prices have risen, so too has the attractiveness of contraband tobacco on which duty has not been paid, and over the last year there has been a noticeable increase in the amount of illegal tobacco production detected in Spain. Coughers are contributing less to Spanish government coffers
In 2012 the number of contraband packets of cigarettes confiscated was 8.7 million, but by last year the figure had risen to 12 million and in the first quarter of 2016 alone the Guardia Civil reports a total haul of 5 million packs. On 6th July the figure was further boosted by raids on three factories and warehouses in Toledo, Salamanca and Málaga, where the Bulgarian mafia had set up an operation from which 39 tons of tobacco and a quarter of a million full packets of cigarettes were confiscated, and such operations appear to be becoming more and more common.