Hungarian Customs Seize Fake Cigarette Machine
The Hungarian customs officials have recently seized a cigarette machine that was used to make close to seven billion counterfeit cigarettes sold in the United Kingdom in the past 10 years.
The fake cigarette maker, Machine 18, is believed to have originated in the Moldovan breakaway territory of Transnistria and was on its way to a new fake cigarette-making location in Bulgaria when seized.
Eastern European criminal gangs reportedly used the machine to make counterfeit cigarettes, mainly Regal and Superkings, brands of Imperial Tobacco Group, a British multinational tobacco company.
According to official estimates, counterfeit cigarettes make up approximately 15 percent of UK’s cigarette trade, costing the economy EUR 3.5 billion a year (USD 4.6 billion).
This seizure is considered to be one of the biggest victories in the war against cigarette counterfeiters and smugglers.
Prepared by: Masa Lopicic
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Source: UK’s news portal Convenience Store; UK’s tabloid The Sun
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