Cigarettes worth over 3.2 million lei, which were supposed to be smuggled to Romania, were seized, on August 1, during a bust carried out near the village of Târăuți, Briceni district. The cigarettes were embarked on inflatable boats, ready to transit the Prut river. A person was caught in the act and was placed into custody. Two other suspects have been identified and detained on August 6. Prosecutors asked the court to arrest the suspects.
The Deputy Chief Prosecutor for Combating Organized Crime and Criminal Cases (PCCOCS), Oleg Baciu, told that the local border police chief is also among the detained persons. Law enforcement officers are on the lookout for four other suspects.
The PCCOCS informs that the smuggling action was carried out in cooperation with the citizens of Romania, whose identities are still unknown. The operation seized equipment used to commit the crime, including two inflatable boats, flashlights, radio stations, binoculars and vehicles.
Upon apprehension, the persons involved disobeyed orders, prompting the officers to fire several warning shots into the air. 11 searches were carried out simultaneously in different locations, at the suspects' homes, warehouses and cars.
If the detained persons are found guilty, they risk imprisonment for a term of three to ten years.
The seized cigarettes will be destroyed.