Smuggling Booze And Cigarettes Is Big Business

The penetration of organizations engaged in smuggling, mainly of liquor and cigarettes,  is now evident to the Costa Rican authorities as they move into several investigations.

For the Fiscal Police have identified two consolidated groups with contacts in Panama, Paraguay, and Europe.

It has shown how these networks of traffickers operating in Panama, how they use the port and the Duty Free Zone to reexport cigars, liquors and even electronics without paying taxes. Also, as in the center of Panama City is clear that contraband enters into society, taking advantage of low prices at which they can sell the products.

But these organizations have been seen in Costa Rica exploiting an area to bring illegal goods, but also for export and in turn defraud the IRS.

Research indicates that there is a Czech-led organization, which has operated in recent months with cigars imported from Europe and Paraguay.

This foreign group  made four fictitious exports to Nicaragua and left much of the cigarettes in the country to be commercialized, that accounted for millions in tax fraud.

In total, this subject would have introduced 24 million 350 thousand cigarettes illegally.

In the case of smuggling of liquor, the business is led by at least three groups that have as their main point of operations along the southern border with Panama.

In fact nearly a month ago two brothers were arrested and seven people on suspicion of leading the organization in Costa Rica.

Research indicates that cases of liquor were brought over land from Panama at points on the border unguarded.

As an example, each box of whiskey introduced by this organization led to a fraud of some 60 thousand colones.

This band is called the twins, the police have taken several tips on them recently. One was the seizure of liquor in Dominicalito of Osa, November 10, 2009, when police stopped a truck with 105 boxes of 12 units of different types of liquor valued at $ 8,930. Seven days later (Nov. 17) was another seizure of 6,890 units of mixed liquor, amounting to $ 71,000.

According to prosecutors, the organization attempted to introduce another 38 cases of liquor, but the truck was intercepted on May 20, 2011 in Puriscal.

The latest seizure credited  to “Twins” is valued at $ 19,126, and the State failed to receive ¢ 18,481,050 in taxes.

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