Egypt destroys 4 million smuggled cigarettes

The Port Said Customs Authority has announced that it destroyed four million cigarettes in August. The cigarettes were seized before being smuggled out of the country.

This was the tenth time that the authority destroyed smuggled cigarettes. Total cigarettes destroyed amount to 32 million in total since January, worth some LE19 million.

A source at the authority said attempts at smuggling have increased since the government levied new taxes on cigarette companies, thereby raising the cost of production.

According to a global study, the Egyptian government has lost over LE160 million so far this year, as smuggling comprises an estimated 21 percent of the total cigarette market, compared to 0.01 percent during the same period the year before.

The study said the government’s decision to announce the tax increase months before its implementation gave smugglers ample time prepare for smuggling more cigarettes.

Translated from the Arabic Edition

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