Customs officers in the city of Amiens intercepted a truck coming from Belgium on the A1 motorway in the Somme department. The driver was a Moldovan national. Inside the trailer, customs officers discovered more than 12 tons of cigarettes, or about 60,000 cartridges, the origin of which is still unknown. If the cigarettes had been resold at half price on the black market, the traffickers would have generated more than 3 million euros in turnover.
According to information from 20Minutes, the Ministry of the Economy announced that in 2022, more than 600 tonnes of contraband tobacco were seized in France. This situation does not seem to be the result of chance, but rather the result of a strong will on the part of the government to fight against cigarette trafficking. Indeed, this illicit activity represents a significant financial loss for public finances.
The driver had no documents to justify his shipment, which led to the seizure of the cigarettes. He will be judged in immediate appearance before the court of Amiens for "detention in an organized gang of manufactured tobacco without regular supporting documents and counterfeiting". If he is found guilty, he risks a prison sentence as well as a customs fine.