Customs busts own agents in biggest-ever haul of black-market smokes

From: LSM.LV Public Broadcasting of Latvia

The State Revenue Service’s (VID) Customs Police nabbed the largest catch of illegal cigarettes ever this month – amounting to 32 million cigarettes and involving three of its own customs officers and a border guard officer, VID informed the media Wednesday.

Altogether six persons were detained on June 2 on suspicion of smuggling in from Russia 32,760,800 contraband smokes, including the three workers from customs, one from the border guard service and two vehicle drivers. An estimated five million euros would have been kept out of state coffers had the shipment made it to the black market, being the largest-ever busted in a single VID Customs Service raid.

Two cargo trucks documented as traveling empty were pulled over for routine inspection on the Terehova-Ludza highway and found to be holding the huge stash of Russian- and Belarus-excised tobacco brands Premjer, NZ Gold, Fest, Bayron White, Bayron and Kiss.

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