SMUGGLING, A FASHION THAT LASTS. BETWEEN 2 AND 7 YEARS!
Iași, March 23, 2017 - Euromonitor Business Consulting Services, via www.faracontrabanda.ro, in partnership with the Border Police and the Romanian Police, with support from JTI, launched the public awareness campaign "Smuggling, a fashion that lasts. Between 2 and 7 years!" The campaign focuses on the negative effects of the illicit cigarette trade. The campaign was carried out during March and April in border counties in the North, North-West, North-East, West and South-West, as well as in Bucharest.
The campaign’s message to the public, conducted via written press, street banners and TV ads, emphasizes that smuggling, though seemingly attractive and without adverse consequences, is actually treated by the law as a form of organized crime.
The latest study carried out by Novel Research, in January 2017, shows that the area most affected by the illicit cigarette trade is the North-East, where contraband goods make up 37.6% of the market. In the North-West, West and South-West regions the shares were 14.7%, 24.3% and 24.6%, respectively.
"We are launching a new anti-smuggling campaign to raise awareness of what it actually means to sell and buy illegal products. Many people don't know that illicit trade is a crime which is punished by prison sentences of from two to seven years. Another aim is to educate consumers, continuing the idea of the campaign carried out in 2016. Although not expressly punishable by law, purchasing black market goods directly finances organized crime networks consisting of a Dealer/Network Head, Carrier and Seller. However, without the client, the last link in the network, this chain could not exist. This is exactly why the campaign emphasizes again the group of people forming the criminal network, which might involve cigarette, gun or drug dealing, human trafficking or prostitution. At the same time, we wish to highlight the efforts by the authorities to stop smuggling. When it comes to fighting smuggling, canine teams are very effective, and the Black Labrador which appears in the TV ad and on the banner as a symbol of authority, belongs to the Customs and is used to sniff out drugs and tobacco", declared Cristina Vasiloiu, General Manager of Euromonitor Business Consulting Services.
"The anti-smuggling campaign was presented in sneak preview last week, during the first International Conference against illicit cigarette trade, which was also attended by Customs Heads from Moldova and Bulgaria, high level representatives of Customs Authorities from Ukraine, Serbia and Hungary, the Head of EUBM, Customs attachés of Great Britain, France and Norway, as well as representatives of legal tobacco companies. The General Directorate of Customs regards the anti-smuggling campaign launched today as supplementing the Shield Operation, which resulted in the recent seizure of 14 million cigarettes in Constanța port. In the near future, the Romanian Customs service will intensify its struggle against the illicit cigarette trade with the aid of canine teams and mobile teams and by resuming scanning activities", stated Dorel Fronea, Vice-President of ANAF, the coordinator of customs activity.
"Considering the fiscal losses incurred by the state, the Border Police will keep enforcing measures, both independently and in partnership with other institutions, to track down and prosecute those involved in the illicit trade of consumer goods (cigarettes included) and to seize contraband", stated Police Chief Commissioner, Dr. Constantin Cîrcu - Deputy Head of the Territorial Inspectorate of the Iași Border Police.
"One of the priorities of the Iași Police, and implicitly the Romanian Police, is to create a legal climate for the business environment, which includes fighting tobacco smuggling. For this purpose, detectives from the Central Economic Crime Office and other Police divisions have intensified their anti-smuggling activities, and the proof lies in the high number of tobacco smuggling crimes reported in 2016. We will continue our activities to prevent and fight this phenomenon, together with the other institutions engaged in this field", stated Police Quaestor Ioan Scripniciuc, Head of County Police Inspectorate in Iași.
"Another of the Romanian Police’s main objectives is to ensure a legal climate for business by fighting tax evasion, smuggling, corruption, counterfeit merchandise, violation of the law in public contracts, illegalities in public administration, and to protect the financial interests of the EU. (...) Therefore, in the first two months of 2017, the Police carried out over 700 missions against tobacco smuggling, resulting in the detection of 637 crimes and the seizure of 3,947,708 cigarettes, 844 cigarillos and 1,446 kilograms of tobacco", according to a statement by the General Inspectorate of the Romanian Police to the participants at a launch event for the campaign.
The campaign "Smuggling, a fashion that lasts. Between 2 and 7 years!" was aired in partnership with TVR on regional channels, and publicized with street banners in counties such as Botoșani, Iași, Neamț, Suceava, Maramureș, Timiș, Caraș-Severin, Mehedinți, Dolj, Olt and Bucharest. Informational materials were also made visible in border areas.
More information and communication materials are available on www.faracontrabanda.ro.
"Smuggling, a fashion that lasts. Between 2 and 7 years!" is the sixth regional campaign organized by Euromonitor Business Consulting Services in partnership with public authorities. Previous campaigns have led to significant drops in the illicit cigarette trade within the targeted regions and time frames.
For over 10 years, Euromonitor Business Consulting Services has been providing consulting services in areas such as business development policies and strategies in Central and Eastern Europe, interim management in the corporate business sector and crisis management, as well as mentoring and coaching programs for top managers, focusing on leadership issues and professional development. As of 2010, under the umbrella of Euromonitor Conferences, the company has organized, both in Romania and abroad, a series of events to draw public attention to phenomena which jeopardize the consolidation of a healthy economic environment in the region, cigarette smuggling being one concrete example. As of 2010, Euromonitor Business Consulting Services hosts the www.faracontrabanda.ro website.