Bulgarian customs officers seized 3,000 packets of cigarettes hidden in hollowed-out loaves of bread


April 29, 2024. Posted by  Periscope - Hellas

Bulgarian customs officers seized 61,160 pieces (3,058 boxes) of cigarettes hidden in loaves of bread in the area of the Danube Bridge at Vidin.

On 25 April, customs officers were inspecting a cargo van leaving the country and carrying loaves of bread, according to the transport documents presented. The van was scanned by X-ray and suspicious areas of different densities were identified.

On subsequent physical inspection, customs officials found that cigarette cartons were hidden in some of the loaves of bread. The tobacco products had a Bulgarian excise label and had been concealed after the inside of the bread had been previously hollowed out.

The excise goods were seized. The driver was issued with an administrative offence ticket.

Cigarettes with a Bulgarian excise label can only be sold on the territory of the country. Excise documents must be provided when cigarettes are transported across borders in excess of the personal use limit, which within the EU is four cartons (one carton contains 200 pieces), even if the cigarettes transported have a valid Bulgarian excise label.

Offenders use various methods of concealment in an attempt to transport the tobacco products without documents and sell them on the illicit market in Western Europe, where cigarette prices are higher.