The volumes of contraband cigarettes detained by Lithuanian customs officers have tripled this year, compared to the same period last year, reaching the value of 11 million euros, the Customs Criminal Service said.

The service launched 30 pre-trial investigations over cigarette smuggling after detaining 3.423 million packs of cigarettes worth 11 million euros, compared to 1.104 million packs worth 3.6 million euros last year.

The majority of smuggled cigarettes were detained inside Lithuania or on the Lithuanian-Belarusian border, and the volumes of smuggled cigarettes on the border with Russia's Kaliningrad region have increased this year.

Also, some 15 percent of smuggled cigarettes have been detained on the way out of Lithuania on the border with Poland. It’s the so-called "transit contraband" destined for West Europe's black market.

Lithuanian customs officers note smuggled cigarettes are usually hidden under shipments of wood or plastics, incoming from Russia or Belarus.

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