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More contraband tobacco, alcohol found in 2017 than during previous year

PPA service dog Como and packs of contraband cigarettes found at the border. Photo is illustrative.
PPA service dog Como and packs of contraband cigarettes found at the border. Photo is illustrative. Source: (PPA)

In 2017, the Estonian Tax and Customs Board (MTA) discovered more contraband tobacco products and illicit alcohol in Estonia than during the year before, according to the agency's newly released annual report.

Last year, a total of 15.4 million contraband cigarettes were discovered in Estonia, up from 11.5 million in 2016, it can be seen from the MTA's annual report published on Tuesday.

Last year, officials also detected six times more snus than the year before — up from 65 kilograms in 2016 to 390 kilograms in 2017 — as well as another 63 kilograms of various smoking tobaccos, marking a likewise steep increase from 11 kilograms found the year before.

Only the amount of contraband hookah tobacco detected dropped last year, from 29 kilograms in 2016 to 27 kilograms in in 2017.

According to the annual report, the MTA also discovered illicit alcohol on 74 occasions. The alcohol discovered during the year amounted to 3,870 liters of absolute alcohol, marking an increase from the total of 2,250 liters of absolute alcohol detected in 2016.

The share of the market of contraband cigarettes somewhat increased in 2017, MTA assessed.

The MTA assessed that the market for contraband cigarettes had increased somewhat in 2017, while the market for illicit alcohol had declined somewhat, noting that general alcohol consumption has also decreased in Estonia.

Over 1,600 fuel violations

The tax and customs authority registered 1,605 cases related to the transportation of illicit fuel as well as the trading in and use of such fuel last year.

These included 89 cases of the misuse of diesel fuel for specific purposes; 1,485 cases in which fuel in amounts exceeding the non-taxable amount was discovered on the Estonian border, in the total amount of 55,110 liters; five cases where fuel not meeting valid requirements was discovered at gas stations, in the total amount of 146,024 liters; three cases where fuel was transported without relevant documents, in the total amount of 61,000 liters; and nine cases of transporation of a substance similar to fuel without relevant documents, in the total amount of 222,820 kilograms.

On nine occasions, MTA officials detected a fuel tank in a vehicle which was not connected to the vehicle's fuel system, carrying a total of 3,621 liters of fuel in such tanks. On five occasions, incorrect notifications about fuel on the Estonian border were detected, concerning a total of 261 liters of fuel.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

Source: BNS

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