14M Contraband Cigarettes Intercepted at Bulgaria's Port Varna West
Bulgarian customs authorities discovered a container with 14 million pieces of contraband cigarettes on a ship at Port Varna West.
Lachezar Lazarov, head of the Customs Intelligence and Investigation unit in the Black Sea city of Varna, made clear Sunday that the ship on which the illegal shipment had been discovered had arrived in Bulgaria on December 30, 2013 from Turkey and had been loaded in Dubai.
Lazarov, as cited by the Bulgarian Telegraph Agency (BTA), informed that the vessel was under the flag of Antigua and Barbuda.
He said that five out of a total of 270 containers on board the ship had been inspected, adding that they were supposed to contain spare parts for agricultural machinery.
He pointed out, however, that such goods had only been found in the first two rows of boxes, while the others contained cigarettes of a brand which was legally produced in India.
Lazarov noted that the receiver of the goods in the container was a Bulgarian company but he did not specify its name.
Citing the ongoing investigation into the matter, he also refused to announce the name of the company which had sent the goods to Bulgaria.
He pointed out that the shipment was the biggest one intercepted in Varna in 2013 and that the seizure of the illegal cigarettes had prevented damage worth BGN 3.3 M to the state budget.
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