Montenegro’s Minister of Finance, Aleksandar Damjanovic, mentioned on Friday that Montenegro might earn as much as 20 million euros by promoting confiscated tobacco.
Damjanovic mentioned his ministry will quickly suggest a Legislation on Taking up Confiscated Tobacco Merchandise from the Port of Bar, which has develop into infamous as a cigarette-smuggling hub.
“Beneath the legislation proposal, we are going to set up takeover deadlines for tobacco merchandise and provides to the previous house owners. If they don’t take it over and take it out of Montenegro, we could maintain a public public sale,” Damjanovic informed the federal government session.
“On this approach, the state might earn between 15 and 20 million euros,” he added.
Because the collapse of Yugoslavia within the Nineteen Nineties, Bar has develop into a recognized centre for cigarette smuggling, from the place imported tobacco is re-exported and cigarettes made in Montenegro are shipped.
In response to official knowledge, 21 of the 26 corporations with storage in Bar are storing tobacco. Final July, the federal government introduced new measures to ban the storage of tobacco in Bar as a part of measures to stop tobacco and cigarette smuggling.
On Could 14, Prime Minister Dritan Abazovic visited the port through the seizure of 145.000 packages of tobacco, saying that the federal government supposed to arrange a authorized technique for promoting the confiscated cigarettes and so pumping cash into the price range.
However on June 16, the British ambassador in Montenegro, Karen Maddocks, mentioned confiscated tobacco must be destroyed, not bought, calling on authorities to enhance tobacco smuggling investigations.
“We not too long ago shared good UK follow with the Montenegrin authorities on what to do with seized items in a approach that complies with worldwide protocols – which is to destroy such items, attributable to issues about their high quality, well being requirements and mental property rights,” Maddocks mentioned.
Montenegro’s Legislation on Customs says confiscated items could also be bought in public auctions, however, in the event that they can’t be bought for safety or well being causes, they should be destroyed. To date, Montenegrin authorities have destroyed smuggled tobacco within the KAP aluminum plant in Podgorica.
Montenegrin Customs not too long ago seized 3.5 million euros value of tobacco in Bar, whereas on February 10, the Customs Workplace reported that tobacco value over 10 million euros had been stolen from hangars within the port since December 2021.
Police arrested three individuals, together with customs officers, on suspicion of smuggling 11,349 packing containers of cigarettes out of the port.
On March 2, the then Customs Workplace head, Milena Petricevic, reported a tobacco theft value 225,000 euros, noting that the safety cameras had been disabled through the theft.
In Could 2019, a BIRN investigation confirmed how Montenegro had once more develop into the hub of a world tobacco smuggling rip-off, funneling tens of millions of counterfeit cigarettes into the EU with “ghost” ships, shell corporations and cast paperwork.