Smuggling of cigarettes is currently 6.
PMI: Bulgaria 3rd in EU by Cigarette Smuggling
The cigarette contraband in Bulgaria has reached over 34% in 2010, according to a study of the tobacco giant Philip Morris International, cited by the Bulgarian daily "Trud."
The study shows that the illegal import of tobacco products has been 14% in 2007, up to nearly 18% in 2009 to reach the skyrocketing 34% in 2010.
The study has been done in 21 Bulgarian cities and 4 towns from May 15 to the 31st. Experts collected nearly 6 000 empty cigarette boxes from trash containers and examined them.
In the city of Shumen, contraband cigarettes in 2010 were 9 times more compared to 2009; 3 times more in the cities of Ruse and Pazardzhik.
In Sofia the share of the smuggled cigarettes is up from 21% to 31%; in the Black Sea capital Varna it reaches 29% - up from 9% last year.
This data ranks Bulgaria third in the EU by the percentage of contraband cigarettes. Latvia (43%) is first and Lithuania (42%) is second.
Meanwhile, former Interior Minister and current Member of the Parliament from the opposition Bulgaria Socialist Party (BSP), Rumen Petkov, said Tuesday the government is involved in cigarette contraband, which was the main reason for the delay in Bulgaria's joining of the Schengen zone.
"These illegal shipments pass through the cross-border check points, not through the fields," Petkov says.
According to the former Minister, there is no way illegal cigarettes import can reach 40% - 45% without the "help" of the police, the border police, and the Customs Agency, adding the smuggling has deprived the State budget by nearly BGN 1 B,
We need your support so Novinite.com can keep delivering news and information about Bulgaria! Thank you!
In a recent development, the Sofia District Court has decided to release actor Hristo Shopov from arrest, implementing a "signature" measure in lieu of detention
A protest by families who have lost their children in accidents is taking place in Sofia today.
Bulgarian actor Hristo Shopov was arrested last night for attacking a young woman with a gun, threatening to kill her and beating her
Residents of Sofia's Ovcha Kupel neighborhood woke up to a scene of chaos as vandals wreaked havoc on parked cars overnight
The Prosecutor's Office in Veliko Tarnovo is investigating the death of a 2-year-old child who died in the city's hospital