FAKE TV scenes depicting tobacco smuggling in Gibraltar have been slammed by the Gibraltar Government, following the uproar over an EU report.
According to the anti-fraud office OLAF’s report, tobacco smuggling on the Rock cost the EU €700 million in tax revenue between 2010 and 2013.
Spain’s High Court has opened up an official investigation, following the recommendation of the 400-page report, sent to the Spanish and UK governments.
“There are reasons to believe that tobacco smuggling and money laundering that affect financial and other interests of the EU have been committed in Gibraltar,” concludes the report.
However, Gibraltar’s government has hit out at the ‘sensationalist’ reporting of the findings in the Spanish media.
It has also criticised Spanish television channel Antenna 3, which has apparently been ‘staging’ tobacco smuggling scenes and then portraying them as real.
Clips on social media show the ‘smugglers’ being given directions from the Spanish TV crew, which was then broadcast as a depiction of real events.
Gibraltar’s government condemned the ‘rabid and un-objective coverage presently being afforded to Gibraltar and the issue of tobacco smuggling in the Spanish media’.
The leader of the opposition, the Gibraltar Social Democrats, Daniel Feetham, also demanded Gibraltar officials be given a copy of the report.
“The sensationalist reporting emanating from Spain contrasts sharply with the very little reporting on the EU Commission’s finding on the environmental complaint by the Spanish Government, which became public last week,” he said.