According to a press release from the Romanian Customs Authority, in April, the inspectors initiated a risk analysis activity in cooperation with the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) for a shipment of hookah tobacco in transit through Romania. The transit was opened at the Otopeni Border Customs Office and was intended for a company from Ukraine.
The customs inspectors went to the Siret Border Customs Office where they identified a minibus and a trailer, registered in Ukraine. The driver, a man with dual Romanian-Ukrainian citizenship, had presented himself on the way out of Romania, transporting, according to the customs documents, 600 boxes of hookah tobacco, more precisely 6,000 kg.
The customs inspectors together with the border police officers from the Siret Border Crossing Point checked the documents and goods, and identified 600 bags of hookah tobacco, originating in Turkey. The value of the goods stated in the accompanying invoice was $117,000.
The excise duty related to the six tons of hookah tobacco is 3,000,000 lei.
As a result of additional checks made by the Romanian Customs Authority in cooperation with OLAF, it was found that the recipient company was fiscally inactive, thus meeting the constitutive elements of the crime of presenting falsified documents.
The six tons of hookah tobacco were detained by the Romanian Customs Authority and were handed over, together with the vehicle in which they were transported, to SPF Siret – ITPF Sighet for further investigations.
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