Belgium seizes 100m-plus counterfeit cigarettes

More than 100m counterfeit cigarettes were seized in Belgium in the first few weeks of January, approaching the level for the whole of 2019 and evading an estimated €65m ($72m) in duties.

The cigarettes – some 126m of them – were discovered in separate shipments identified as coming into the country from South East Asia, according to the federal finance service, reported by There have been eight arrests made in connection with the seizures, all claiming Turkish nationality.

The first batch was discovered in an Antwerp warehouse on January 9, with another big haul discovered in Brecht. It’s not clear whether Belgium was the final destination for the cigarettes, which included fake versions of Rothmans Blue, John Player Special and EM@IL brands.

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