The cigarettes were produced at a warehouse in Elverding, a village around 10 kilometres from the French border. Around 4.5 million poor quality cigarettes were seized. The amount of excise duty and VAT that would be payable on this quantity of cigarettes is 1.55 million euro.
Florence Angelici of the Federal Finance Department that is responsible for the Belgian Customs told VRT News that with the UK about to leave the customs union and the European single market the number of illegal cigarettes destined for the United Kingdom that are being intercepted has increased recently. “They know that from 1 January there will be much more stringent checks. They now want to get everything sent to the United Kingdom before then”.
Two weeks ago another illegal cigarette factory was raided at Wulpen, near Kortrijk (West Flanders).