Lithuania

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Joint Customs Operation initiated by Lithuania successfully ended

Almost 45 million smuggled cigarettes, nearly 140.000 litres of diesel fuel and about 14.000 litres of vodka were seized during a major Joint Customs Operation (JCO), the Baltic Course reports.

The Operation code-named Warehouse was carried-out in October 2013 by the Lithuanian Customs Service and the Lithuanian Tax Inspectorate in close cooperation with the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF), and with the participation of all 28 EU member states. As a result of Operation Warehouse, a significant potential loss to the budgets of the European Union and its Member States was prevented. According to preliminary estimates, this would have amounted to about EUR 9 million in the form of evaded customs duties and taxes. The final results of the Operation were discussed by the participants last week at a debriefing meeting in Vilnius and were made public today across Europe.

Operation Warehouse focused on cargo movement by road transport. It targeted the smuggling and other forms of illegal trade of excise goods such as mineral oil, tobacco products and alcohol throughout Europe.

Eight seizures were made during the Operation. Among these, authorities seized 6.617.400 cigarettes in Sweden and Lithuania; 135.831 litres of diesel in Poland and the United Kingdom, and 14.025,6 litres of vodka in United Kingdom alone. Overall, 44.957.160 cigarettes were seized.

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