Romanian officials detained for tobacco smuggling

tobacco smuggling BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Anti-corruption prosecutors have detained dozens of customs officials and border police on suspicion of involvement in cigarette smuggling.

Prosecutors say the 77 officials detained Thursday in northern Romania are suspected of cigarette smuggling and taking bribes.

Mediafax and Agerpres news agencies quoted sources as saying that the officials had been under surveillance for six months.

Police say traffic at the Vama Siret border — the main crossing point from Romania to Ukraine — was at a standstill during the operation, with queues stretching back up to 3 miles (4.83 kilometers).

Cigarette smuggling has increased in recent years. Romania, a European Union member, has borders with Ukraine and Moldova and cheaper cigarettes arrive in the country from these areas.

source: Associated Press.

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