Following the police raid in the village of Ljuboten, the Financial Police department informed that it seized 12 tons of smuggled tobacco worth 7.5 million EUR.
The raids were conducted at 13 locations around Skopje, the police informed, operated by four companies. Police director Arafat Muaremi said that the companies were importing unprocessed Virginia tobacco, whose production is banned in Macedonia, and were cutting it up and selling it at the black market for hand rolled cigarette users.
The tobacco was imported from Albania, Serbia, Bulgaria and Greece, and the companies avoided paying the excise tax, Muaremi added.
According to the Customs Office, the tobacco also contained pesticides which can act as irritants and have toxic effects.