An international crime ring that smuggled tobacco products into Romania from the Ukraine cost the economy around EUR 1 million. Members of the group, based in Satu Mare, were arrested by Romania’s counter terrorism and organized crime squad DIICOT, according to reports in the local media.
Romanians, Italians and Ukrainians were in the group, which hid cigarettes in various vehicles to bring them over the border from the Ukraine, according to information released by DIICOT.
Ioan Pop, Adolf Janos Komaromi, Dorin Sentianoşi,and Petru Constantin Borz are charged with smuggling tobacco and selling contraband in Romania.
Cigarette smuggling was flat during the first three months of this year, compared to the same period of last year, reaching 13.4 percent of the Romanian cigarettes market in March this year, according to a study from Novel Research. The smuggling level in March this year was 1.4 percentage points smaller than in March last year.
The tobacco industry is one of the largest contributors to Romania’s state budget. In 2011, JTI, BAT and Philip Morris paid EUR 2.7 billion in excises and VAT to the state budget.