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Cigarette contraband brought to its lowest level in the first quarter of 2018

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Cigarette contraband brought to its lowest level in the first quarter of 2018

The share of contraband cigarettes bought in Bulgaria in early 2018 was 5.8 per cent, down 0.8 per cent from the last quarter of 2017, and the lowest since studies of the market share of illegal cigarettes began in the country, according to the results of the latest such study presented Wednesday in Sofia.

The results of the study were presented to Prime Minister Boyko Borissov and representatives of the institutions directly responsible for counteracting illegal trade.

The study showed that the main brands of illegally traded cigarettes and the owners of the brands remain unchanged. Also, new brands appear all the time which quickly spread nationwide, replacing other brands.

Interior Minister Valentin Radev said that nearly 20 tons contraband loose tobacco and more than ten million cigarettes were impounded in the past six months. A total of 553 pre-trial proceedings for illegal sale of cigarettes have been instituted.

Borissov said that judging by the statistics, Bulgaria is effectively counteracting the contraband in cigarettes. The Prime Minister said that the good results were achieved thanks to "the commitment of the prosecuting magistracy in tackling the issue and the rapid reaction of the regional prosecution offices".

Borissov said that the good results against contraband trade are to translate in 200-300 million leva more in budget revenue this year. He said also that the budget is currently with a positive balance and that more funding can be allocated not just to the social sphere but to all other sectors.

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