Latvia's State Revenue Service Customs Control officers seized over 10 million L&M cigarettes with bogus labels in what is the biggest contraband bust so far this year, according to Cas. The cigarettes were discovered in a container in the Riga Commercial Freeport last Thursday. The container originated in China. "This is a windfall for the state revenue service," said Customs Control spokesman Peteris Pipetava.
The State Revenue Service will sell the cigarettes through its network of leather jacketed sales agents in the Riga central market, the train station, and through authorized taxi drivers. Pipetava promises that future deliveries of contraband smokes will be ordered from China directly by the State Revenue Service in order to cut out the middleman. "These actions are sanctioned by Latvia's IMF agreement, which encourages us to raise new channels of revenue. We are now accepting orders for contraband smokes: 10 cartons minimum order, cash payment only." Photo: Peteris Pipetava holds contraband cigarettes.