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In 2023, Smuggling Of Belarusian Cigarettes To Poland Increased 12 Times

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In 2023, Smuggling Of Belarusian Cigarettes To Poland Increased 12 Times

From 500 thousand to 6 million dollars.

In 2023, the cost of detected smuggling of Belarusian cigarettes to Poland increased 12 times — from 2 to 24 million zlotys (from 500 thousand to 6 million dollars at the current exchange rate), the publication Rzeczpospolita reported, citing the country’s Border Guard.

It is noted that Polish border guards find Belarusian cigarettes in railway and truck transport, in “cargoes of wood, coal, salt, and in the protective coatings of tank cars.”

The publication reports that a few days ago, on a train traveling from Belarus, employees of the Podlaskie Border Department discovered 4 thousand packs of cigarettes in wagons with coal from Kazakhstan.

At the same time, the value of seized smuggled Belarusian goods increased from 5.8 to 30 million zlotys, which “made a significant contribution to the increase in the total value of contraband seized at the Polish border from 216 to 435 million zlotys.”

Smuggling on the border with Ukraine, Belarus and Russia increased over the year from 28 to almost 50 million zlotys, so about 60% of this amount comes from Belarus.

“The goods that the government taxes are supplied by criminal gangs. And since in Belarus such groups are partially sanctioned by the authorities, it is not surprising that the scale of smuggling from there to Poland is growing,” said Andrzej Sadowski, president of the Adam Smith Center for Market Research.

On February 13, the National Tax Administration of Poland announced the seizure of a shipment of smuggled Belarusian cigarettes in Podlaskie Voivodeship — a total of 400 thousand packs.

The cigarettes were transported by a 41-year-old citizen of Belarus in a truck with Lithuanian registration. It was noted that according to the documents, the trailer should have contained “elements of wooden houses.” “If the seized cigarettes were sold [in Poland], the state budget would lose more than 10 million zlotys,” the report said.

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