There was another considerable drop in the cigarette smuggling in the first quarter of 2019 compared to the last quarter of 2018. The data was given in the presence of the Prime Minister Boyko Borissov, the minister of interior Mladen Marinov, the prosecutor Sotir Tsatsarov and the management of the Ministry of Interior.
The smuggled cigarettes share on the Bulgarian market fell down to 3.8%, which is 0.6% less than the last three months of 2018. This data refers to 20 big and 6 smaller cities in the period from February 15 to March 15, 2019. The information was gathered by the number of empty boxes of cigarettes in homes and offices.
This is not only the best result among all the European countries, but also in the last 10 years of cigarettes smuggling in Bulgaria.
Most of the smuggled cigarettes are found in Veliko Tarnovo (9.3%), Haskovo (7.3%), Blagoevgrad (6.7%), Pazardzhik (6.5%), Varna (6.2%) and Pleven (6.0%). The report says that the fight against cigarettes smuggling is one of the highest priorities of the government. Cooperation with other institutions gives good results so the informational campaigns should continue. It is recommended to the government and the parliament that there shouldn’t be new hasty regulations.
11 tons of illegal tobacco were detained, as well as 1 ton cannabis. In comparison last year there were 110 tons, stated the prime minister. “We owe this to the will of the government and the prosecutor. Let me remind you that when Oresharski was prime minister the cigarettes smuggling share was 34.5%”. Borissov paid attention also to the words of the president who laughed at Borissov for searching in the recycling bins for boxes of cigarretes. “This is the methodology of the sociologists, not mine”, explained the prime minister. He showed off for being the best European country not only in the fight with smuggling cigarettes, but also smuggling migrants. 80 traffickers were detained from the beginning of 2019 until now, 30 of them are sentenced.