The EU is calling on Spain and Gibraltar to crack down on tobacco smuggling across their common border, citing concerns about the involvement of organized crime, according to a story by Ashifa Kassam for The Guardian.
Cigarette imports into Gibraltar are said to have tripled between 2006 and 2011, and one Spanish government official was said to have told the El País newspaper that current imports – 117 million packs last year – suggested that each of the approximately 30,000 residents of Gibraltar, including nursing children, must be smoking nine packs of cigarettes each day.
Wrapping up a one-year investigation, the European Anti-Fraud Office (Olaf) said in a statement that it had ‘raised a number of concerns’ with UK and Spanish officials regarding its investigation into the increase of cigarette smuggling across the frontier. While the report was not made public, Olaf noted ‘a significant increase in the size of the Gibraltar market for cigarettes over the past four years’ and ‘indications of the involvement of organized crime’.
Category: Breaking News