The Italian Customs Police and the Italian Financial Police (Guardia di Finanza) seized a shipment of nearly 30 tonnes of tobacco products of foreign manufacture at the Port of Trieste in November 2021. The shipment had come from Malawi and the tobacco was intended to be sold on the EU market European territory.
The tobacco had been falsely declared as raw product, resulting in much lower customs fees and VAT payments. Consequently, the two individuals suspected of the illicit trade, both Turkish citizens, were in total evasion of excise duty, VAT and customs fees, leading to estimated damages of €5 million to the EU and national budgets.
The Venice office of the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) took over this case in December, and will lead the investigation from now on.