Some 20% of Cigarettes in Bulgaria Contraband
Every fifth cigarette in Bulgaria is illegal, according to a survey on the illicit cigarette market commissioned by world concerns.
Bulgaria's budget records losses of nearly BGN 0.5B annually only due to the unpaid excise duty on tobacco products, private TV station BTV reports.
The excise duty doubles cigarette prices, thus inveterate smokers often turn to smugglers. The purchase of cigarettes without excise duty is not regarded a criminal offense. Smugglers face small risk, because in case of getting caught with several cartons of cigarettes, they only get to pay a fine.
Meanwhile, authorities report positive results in the fight with contraband. In 2013 only, the customs have seized a total of 44 million cigarettes and nearly 0,250 tonnes of tobacco.
According to data provided by various non-governmental organizations, cigarette smugglers in Bulgaria make more money than drug dealers, BTV informs.