The Malta Independent 16 October 2018, Tuesday

Customs officers seize 32,000 contraband cigarettes at the airport

Sunday, 21 January 2018, 14:14 Last update: about 10 months ago

Customs Officials stationed at the Malta International Airport and others from the department’s Enforcement Unit yesterday discovered 32,000 contraband cigarettes at MIA.

While screening passengers who were exiting through the Customs area, a particular luggage piece, arriving to Malta on a flight from Moscow, was flagged by the Customs Officials after passing through the X-ray machine area, the department said in a statement.

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A physical search was conducted and 16,000 cigarettes were found.

The passenger, a Moldovan national, stated that the cigarettes were destined for Spain, not Malta, and said he was in fact departing for Spain later on in the day.

The officials noted that an additional luggage piece was left unclaimed on the carousel, which, upon inspection, turned out to belong to the same passenger. Another 16,000 cigarettes were found in that piece of luggage.

 The Police Economic Crime Unit was duly informed and they placed the passenger under arrest, the department said. The Moldovan passenger is expected to be arraigned in Court in the coming hours.

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