THE number of offenders caught smuggling tobacco into Spain from Gibraltar has more than tripled in just three years, the Olive Press can reveal.

Spanish customs officials stopped a staggering 2,899 people carrying illegal numbers of cigarettes in the first nine months of last year.

This compares to just 985 people stopped on the frontier in the whole of 2008.

The Spanish National Tax Agency (AEAT) statistics show an alarming year-on-year rise, with 1,226 people stopped in 2009 (192,560 packets) and 2,112 people (283,203 packets) in 2010.

By the end of September last year 409,095 packets had been seized.

Many of these are being distributed by gangs around Spain, although a ‘substantial number’ are being sent abroad ‘where profits are higher’, a Spanish police source told the Olive Press.

This week, a 62-year-old man was arrested in Sevilla with 40,000 packets of illegal cigarettes, totalling a value of over 100,000 euros.

In another incident, last week, a car was stopped in Villamartin with 1750 packets, worth 6000 euros.

The trend is widely seen as a consequence of Spain’s chronic unemployment figures.

“This is really not the problem on our side,” a Gibraltar government source told the Olive Press.

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  1. Why do non smokers think they can go around insulting smokers with impunity. The world has become a very unpleasant place with holier than thou people thinking they can dictate how smokers lead their lives. I find a lot of things distasteful that other people like but I don’t run around insulting people personally. What gives you the right to do the same to me.

  2. Everyone knows that nicotine is a narcotic and that you will get junked on tobacco faster than using heroin – so why does’nt the world as a whole just make it a class A drug, burn all the fields of tobacco as they do with marijuana, well I think we all know the answer.

    Tony the Liar often entertained these legal drug barons at our expense and now the Tories are watering down any measures that might impact on the profitability of these scum.

    Never forget that the British Imperial army was used to force the Chinese to allow opium to be sold in China. That thereare families today whose forunes were made from this disgusting trade.

    Strange that at school we were never taught about this drug trafficking – British Empire – what a wonderful example for the rest of the world to copy?

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