1.7 tonnes illegal tobacco stopped at Spanish border

Over one and a half tonnes of contraband tobacco worth almost €423,000 in resale value has been stopped at the French-Spanish border.

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The 1.7 tonne haul - in a heavy goods vehicle registered in Germany - was intercepted at a customs checkpoint on the A9 motorway in Boulou on Sunday night, reports French news source 20 Minutes.

The drivers, of German and Latvian origin, told the customs officers that they were transporting empty plastic containers from Spain to Belgium.

This piqued the interest and suspicions of the officers, who decided to check the vehicle.

Once inside, they discovered 89 boxes filled with tobacco designed to roll into cigarettes, which would have had a resale value of over €423,000 had they reached their destination.

The two drivers were arrested and placed in observation before being questioned. No charges have been announced as yet.

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