Vijayawada Customs Commissionerate seizes 26 lakh smuggled foreign cigarettes
The sleuths intercepted a truck based on a tip-off on the highway and detained the driver after he failed to produce relevant documents, an official release from the Principal Commissioner said.
Published: 04th August 2022 04:45 AM | Last Updated: 04th August 2022 04:45 AM | A+A A-
VIJAYAWADA: As many as 42.72 lakh foreign and illegally made Indian cigarettes valued at about `3.45 crore were seized at Kesarapalli on Vijayawada - Visakhapatnam national highway early on Wednesday, officials of the Vijayawada Customs Commissionerate (Preventative) said. The sleuths intercepted a truck based on a tip-off on the highway and detained the driver after he failed to produce relevant documents, an official release from the Principal Commissioner said.
“The truck was found to be loaded with a total of 156 high-density polyethene sacks containing 26,40,000 ‘Paris’ brand cigarettes and 16,32,000 ‘Gold Vimal’ cigarettes,” the release added. This is reportedly the largest seizure of smuggled foreign-made cigarettes by the CPC since its inception.
Consignment addressed to Vijayawada from Patna: Driver
During interrogation, the truck driver told the officials that he was instructed to deliver the consignment to an address in Vijayawada from Patna in Bihar. ‘Paris’ brand cigarettes are suspected to be made in Myanmar.“Smuggling foreign cigarettes is a lucrative business as black marketeers make a huge profit by avoiding customs duty,” the CPC release said.
The customs officials further said the smuggled cigarettes did not have pictorial warnings on them, violating the provisions of the Tobacco Products (prohibition of advertisement and regulation of trade and commerce, production, supply and distribution) Act-2003. They also have inferior tobacco content.“A case has been registered and further investigation is on. The Commissionerate is at the forefront of combating smuggling activities with a focus on developing intelligence and increased vigilance,” the release added.