Captured counterfeit cigarettes.
(photo credit: TAX AUTHORITY)
Some 5,300 packages of counterfeit cigarettes were seized by authorities on Sunday night, preventing a smuggling attempt of 1.5 tons of cigarettes from the Palestinian Authority into Israel.
A truck suspected of carrying the cigarettes was traveling from the West Bank towards Israel with the intention of selling the tobacco products on the black market.
Working together with the Border Tax and Customs Authority and the local council of the village of Barta'a
, the truck was tracked and eventually apprehended at Sha’ar Ephraim.
The truck and the tobacco products were seized, and a full scale investigation to locate other suspects involving the smuggling will begin soon.
This operation in the village of Barta’a, is part of an extensive and ongoing effort by the Tax Authority to crack down on smuggling and black market sales.
This is not the first time that border crossings have experienced illegal smuggling of cigarettes from the PA to Israel.
The Tax Authority said in a statement that they are in the midst of an ongoing investigation to locate other suspects involved in the smuggling.
According to the authority, the tax value of the captured cigarettes was NIS 1.7 million.
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