Traders of illicit cigarettes in Northeast Bulgaria burn down smuggled fags in their central heating


2013-05-19

Owners of a commercial outlet trading with illicit cigarettes performed a real theatre show before the customs and police officers on Friday afternoon, which lasted for several hours.
While 55-year-old man with initials A.N. was thinking of possible tricks so as not to let the customs officers from the Customs Ruse and police officers from the town of Razgrad in to check his home, his 18-year-old daughter was throwing cartons of smuggled cigarettes in the fire place of their local central heating, despite the 30°C summer heat.
The owner of the store and the house attached to it (woman) has previous convictions for sale of illicit cigarettes without excise stamp, but she continued the illegal trade at the store.
The family store was located on the first floor of a three-storey house in a small town in the district of Razgrad.
During the check of the customs officers the shop assistant (woman) was selling the cigarettes with a "for duty free" sign on them. The woman confessed she was only hired as seller in the commercial outlined, while usually the owner of the store (woman) was supplying it with cigarettes in the morning.
The check developed to a raid at the entire house but the man, who introduced himself as the husband of the owner, tried to stop the authorities. He refused to let the inspector in, despite that they presented legal grounds for their actions.
In man's words, there was no one in the house.
Customs Ruse officers, however, secured all exits of the house and the store. Before calling a locksmith the customs officers asked the man to legitimise himself but he said he had left his ID card in another town, where he was working as a driver.
The customs officers asked the police for cooperation. The police drew a statement on the 55-year-old A.N. for not carrying his ID documents.
Later on, when the customs officers finally managed to enter inside the house, they scented thick smoke of something burnt. The fire place for the local central heating was throwing up thick smoke, while burnt pieces of cartons of cigarettes were see in the chamber. It turned out that the daughter of the owner was inside the house all the time. In her words, she turned on the central heating to heat up some water...
In the following search the customs officers also found 110 litres of rakia. A.N. said the alcohol belonged to him but could not present documents to prove its origin. The man was drawn another statement for the illegal alcohol.
Work on the case continues.