Libya-bound containers stopped at Freeport over cigarette smuggling

Four containers seized by customs at the Freeport contained 37 million counterfeit cigarettes

The Maltese Customs Department has seized a record number of fake cigarettes this year
The Maltese Customs Department has seized a record number of fake cigarettes this year

Customs seized 37 million counterfeit cigarettes from four containers that were heading to Libya in an operation spread over several weeks.

The containers were stopped at the Freeport in Birżebbuġa and scanning equipment was used in the operation, the Customs Department said.

The cigarettes were confirmed to be fake by legal representatives of the companies holding the trademarks.

The Customs Department said the containers originated from Cambodia.

"These 37 million cigarettes, combined with the total of 11.6 million cigarettes smuggled apprehended earlier this year, saw the figure of cigarettes seized so far this year to 48.6 million. This is a record figure for the Maltese customs," the statement said.

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