ALMERIA may not see as much smuggling as other Andalucian provinces, it still suffers considerable losses due to illicit tobacco sales, a new report has revealed.
A huge police operation in June this year, the largest to date in Spain, saw two people arrested and 95 tonnes of smuggled tobacco confiscated. This, combined with smaller confiscations, mostly at Almeria City port’s border points, led to the province being responsible for 21.6 per cent of confiscations in Andalucia over the first six months of 2016.
The report is the result of investigations on the financial implications of illicit tobacco sales in Andalucia and Spain carried out by the Autonomous University of Madrid in collaboration with Sevilla’s Loyola Andalucia University and with support from the Center of Economic Scenario Analysis and Research.
Altogether, the study found, smuggled tobacco sales caused losses of €236.6 million in Andalucia between January and June, €124.6 million of which would have been taxes.
Not only that but smuggling, the report stated, impeded creation of 1,432 jobs within the tobacco industry and other interacting activities.
Another study by Ipsos, based on discarded empty cigarette packets in Almeria, reported that two of every 10 cigarettes smoked in Almeria are smuggled.