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27. November 2014.

Belgrade, Vranje – With the aim of combating the illegal market of tobacco products , the British American Tobacco (BAT ) company organized at its plant in Vranje a training course for civil servants whose activities include the fight against the illegal trade in these products. Members of the tax and customs administrations, as well as of the intelligence agencies, of the countries in the region, attended lectures and demonstration exercises and actively participated in the workshops, to which the company had invited the most eminent regional experts in the field, it was said in the company’s statement.  

During the two-day training, the guests and hosts discussed the most effective ways of combating illegal trade in the region, due to which the revenues from tobacco products  of the countries in the region were reduced a lot. The priority topics of discussion included the development of the operational regional cooperation, networking and information exchange, as well as joint monitoring of trends in the illegal tobacco market. All the attendees were  acquainted with the ways of recognizing counterfeit tobacco products, as well as with the process of manufacturing tobacco products, labeling them, placing security tags on them and ensuring their secure packaging. 

“The purpose of the training was to provide practical knowledge to members of the relevant state bodies of the countries in the region to combat the phenomenon due to which the budgets of the Balkan states are losing hundreds of millions of euros per year”, said Goran Milikic , the Head of Security for the Adriatic region at the BAT company.

The renowned world experts in the field of tobacco industry conveyed their experiences to the participants in the seminar.

Most tobacco is smuggled into the Republic of Serbia from Kosovo and Metohija.  Since the beginning of the year, members of the Police Department in Vranje have organized several activities in the area of ​​Bujanovac and Presevo, during which several hundred pounds of cut tobacco, as well as the machinery for its processing, were seized.  The tobacco smuggled  from Kosovo and Metohija was intended for the market of southeast Serbia, where its price ranges between 1,200 to 2, 000 dinars.

Source“Danas” daily and Coordination Body