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Crackdown on Gibraltar - Spain smuggling

Mon 9th May 2011

The Spanish Government has imposed measures on restricting the amount of cigarettes that can be carried between Gibraltar and Spain. This means reducing the amount permissible from 3 cartons to just 1 carton per month.

EU regulations currently state a one carton limit on travellers entering the EU customs zone from third countries, as in the case of those leaving Gibraltar and entering Spain, however, this has been exploited by some people who work in Gibraltar but live in Spain and therefore make multiple trips every month. In cases like this the EU is allowing member states to apply further restrictions.

The difference in price of cigarettes between Gibraltar and Andorra, has meant that many of Spain's unemployed are turning to 'smuggling' tobacco as a means of finding an income, however, such 'smugglers' range from individuals working alone to well organized and financed criminal gangs.

So far this year Guardia Civil officers have confiscated a total of 5,548 cartons of cigarettes and apprehended 19 individuals at checks on the border.

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