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Customs authority seizes cigarettes worth EUR 4.9m near Debrecen airport

The customs and tax authority (NAV) has seized a consignment of 23 million untaxed cigarettes with a street value of 2 billion forints (EUR 4.9m) from four Polish trucks near the international airport in Debrecen, in eastern Hungary, the authority said on Monday.

The cigarettes made in the United Arab Emirates were smuggled by an international ring to Hungary by a cargo plane arriving at the airport from Dubai, NAV told MTI in a statement.

The cigarettes were seized in a raid carried out in a coordinated operation by Europol and Eurojust which also covered Austria, Poland and the Czech Republic.

Four of the ring’s members have so far been identified, NAV said, adding that three of the members are foreign nationals and the fourth one is a Hungarian citizen. The Hungarian accomplice tasked with arranging the transfer of the cigarettes to Europe was arrested in a hotel in Debrecen. A house search of the man revealed documents, electronic files, seven luxury cars, foreign currency worth 300 million forints and 49 high value wristwatches, NAV said. The man has been taken into pre-trial detention.

Authorities have issued an international warrant against the three other suspects.

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