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Watch: This is what 12 million shredded cigarettes look like

Customs continues its contraband crackdown

Video: Customs

Customs officials today destroyed almost 12 million contraband cigarettes seized as part of a crackdown on cigarette smugglers. 

Machines shredded 11,667,748 cigarettes and 77 kilogrammes of loose leaf tobacco, as Customs continues to drive home its counter-smuggling message.

The operation began last month and has seen authorities catch a Żabbar hairdresser, Valletta confectioner and Rabat band club selling contraband cigarettes on the sly

Efforts have continued over the past two weeks, with Customs officials confiscating 5,900 contraband cigarettes over that time period. 

Up in smoke. Photo: ShutterstockUp in smoke. Photo: Shutterstock

A sailor aboard a large vessel which makes frequent stops in Malta was caught red-handed with 2,600 of those cigarettes, divided into 13 cartons of 200 cigarettes each.

Along with those black market L&M cigarettes, officials also found 500 Burton, Tradition and Business Royals cigarettes at a Żabbar store, with a further 2,800 black market cigarettes seized by Customs officials at the airport. 

READ: Żabbar hairdresser sold contraband cigarettes between cuts

Wine, tobacco seizures

The Customs crackdown has also led officials to discover quantities of illicit wine and loose-leaf tobacco. 

Over the past two weeks, officials have seized 205 litres of black market wine, with 105 litres discovered in a Ħal Farruġ shop and 90 litres stashed away in a Siġġiewi warehouse. A further 10 litres were seized from a Birkirkara store.

 

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