AT a time when tobacconists in Cadiz are pleading with the Spanish government to reduce the tax on cigarettes and tobacco due it says to increased smuggling in the area, the Gibraltar government continues to take action to prohibit illegal export.
Whilst the Spanish are hardly likely to change taxes just for the Campo de Gibraltar, they do of course allow the sale of cigarettes in the Canary Islands at similar prices to Gibraltar and only recently closed down an intended illegal cigarette factory being set up by Bulgarians in Costa Blanca.
Officers of the Gibraltar Customs kept surveillance on a residential address in Glacis estate that was suspected of being used for the illegal storage, and subsequent distribution of cigarettes that were then smuggled from the area of eastern beach
A search of the immediate area surrounding the suspect address resulted in the location of a motor vehicle loaded with 200 cartons of cigarettes with a retail value of £4,000.
Officers proceeded to the residential address from where the cigarettes had been seen to be originating. The tenant, a local male in his late 20s, was cautioned and arrested for the illegal possession and storage of the cigarettes.
Following this, a search of the premises produced a further 1,300 cartons of cigarettes with a retail value of approximately £26,000.