SIROCCO operation: 40mln cigarettes seized within joint customs operation

Results of the SIROCCO operation, coordinated by OLAF, have been announced in early October.
Around 40 million cigarettes, 1,243kilos of hand-rolled tobacco, 7,038 liters of alcohol and more than 8 million other counterfeit items including clothing, shoes, toys and electronics, were seized in the frames of a joint customs cooperation carried out by the EU member states and 11 partnership countries from the Mediterranean region.
Bulgaria's contribution to the joint operation includes confiscation of 2,880 fake children's toys Bakugan and 468 Walt Disney photo frames. In the second case Bulgaria seized 1,090 porcelain cups of Winks and Walt Disney worth EUR 27,000. In both cases the seized items came from China. The operation was carried out in June.
European Commissioner for Commissioner for Taxation, Customs, Anti-fraud and Audit Algirdas Semeta said that the operation proved the great potential of the joint work between the EU and partners in the fight against frauds and contraband.
The 40 million cigarettes are equal to the annual cigarettes consumption of 5,000 people, smoking 20 cigarettes per dat.
The loss from tax and customs duty on this amount of cigarettes is estimated at EUR 8 million.