Anti-smuggling operation: more than 300,000 cigarettes detected at border

Over 300 thousand contraband cigarettes were found on the border between Moldova and Ukraine, but also at the crossing points between Moldova and Romania.

From September 15th, the three countries conducted a joint operation to combat cigarette smuggling. The first results were discussed at a meeting between the head of the European Union Fraud, Giovanni Kessler and customs authorities from Romania, Ukraine and Moldova. The meeting was held at Leuşeni-Albita checkpoint.

Officials visited the crossing point Leuşeni where Moldovan customs chief, Vitalie Vrabie, has presented the equipment by which drugs are discovered. Head of European Anti-Fraud Office welcomed the cooperation of customs authorities of the three countries.

"Cooperation is a good example of how Europe works and how Europe should work" , said European Anti-Fraud Office director general, Giovanni Kessler.

Vice President of the National Tax Administration of Romania said that joint efforts by the authorities of the three countries lead to defend the financial interests of the European Union.

"This joint customs operation is an example of how the customs authorities in the region should operate" , said Vice President of the National Authority for Fiscal Administration, Dorel Fronea.

Director General of the Customs Service of Moldova Vitalie Vrabie said that it is very important in this process to have the expertise and support of the European Anti-Fraud Office.

"We are concerned in particular by facilitating trade and trafficking of people, but we are equally concerned about the size of the anti-fraud" , said Vitalie Vrabie.

The Ukrainian side said the results of the operation will be known shortly.

Moldova has a cooperation agreement with the European Anti-Fraud Office dated from May 15, 2013.

The institution investigating fraud against the EU budget, corruption and serious misconduct within the European Institutions.

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