The Costa Rica News (TCRN) – In just the first two months of this year, the seizure of smuggled cigarettes has reached more than in the first six months of 2013. At the end of February, the confiscation of illegal cigarettes reached more than 14 million units.
Last year closed with 21,816,820 units in seized cigarettes. This is the highest figure since 2010 and it is estimated that this year the amount will easily surpass this. Most of the product comes from the border areas and is characterized by its low quality.
“Increased seizure cannot say that is in proportion with the increase in smuggling … hope that we engage not only confiscate, but shows a movement to more people, and in recent years we have done,” said Luis Alonso Bonilla, Police Director of Fiscal Control of the Ministry of Finance.
For authorities, cigarette smuggling carries a myriad of effects besides tax issues.
“The cigar itself is harmful, but if there’s no quality control it’s even more harmful. Previously we’ve detected tobacco that contains rat feces, mold and other substances that can jeopardize your health,” said one border patrol guard.
The seized goods enter into the country without paying taxes, usually at both the north and south borders. Also, a considerable amount enters through the port of Limón and international airports.
The Costa Rica News (TCRN)
San Jose, Costa Rica