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Scandinavia Today / Sweden


Smuggled garlic for millions - a surprisingly new thing

Wednesday, 09 January 2013
Two British nationals are suspected of having smuggled garlic for at least €10 million, nearly Skr90 million, a surprisingly news product to emerge as a smuggling favourite.

It is surprising to learn that garlic can be worth its weight in gold. This occurred when two British citizens as reported by various Swedish newspapers smuggle garlic from Norway via Sweden to the rest of Europe. The two Britons were sought custody in absentia on suspicion of garlic smuggling worth Skr100 million.

They have now become the new cases to be requested extradited to Sweden to answer charges of smuggling. The garlic was imported legally and free of duty into Norway from China. Then smuggled later on via Sweden to the EU that have high tariffs on onions, according to reports in Swedish papers.

The suspects are believed to have lived in  and worked in Norway for years. The criminal activity must have been ongoing since at least three years.
According to previous information from the European Anti-Fraud Office, OLAF, legal process started against the men in summer 2010.
Alarm was blown when a truck was stopped Sweden and 28 tons of garlic that had arrived by sea from China to Norway was found inside.

Garlic from China to the EU is subject to tariffs of 9.6 per cent or €1200 per tonne. In China, it is possible to produce a lot of garlic and production costs are low. For the  1200 tonnes of garlic suspected to have been smuggled, customs charges evaded for these shipments is estimated at €1.5 million.
by Team

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