Market share of contraband cigarettes shrinks to 4.7%

The share of contraband cigarettes on the Bulgarian market dropped to 4.7% in the second quarter of 2018, according to a survey which looked into cigarette sales by collecting and analysing empty cigarette boxes. The findings of the survey were unveiled on 19 September by an organisation dubbed Initiative Against Illegal Trade, in the presence of Prime Minister Boyko Borissov, ministers, MPs, experts and Prosecutor General Sotir Tsatsarov.

At the end of 2017, the market share of contraband cigarettes was 6.6%, and a year ago it was 7%, the organisation recalled. Back in 2010, it was 34.5%.

The fight against contraband is a powerful blow against corruption as well, because court proceedings require the presence of a policeman, customs official, prosecutor, and - of course - a political 'umbrella', PM Borissov commented at the presentation of the research.

“As we have busted four illegal cigarette factories, we have managed to drop the share of cigarette contraband under 5%. We take actions in the same way against illegal production and sales of alcohol, fuels, sugar and meat,” Borissov said, as quoted by BTA.

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