Swedish Customs targets EU garlic smugglers

Swedish Customs targets EU garlic smugglers
The Swedish customs and excise has exposed a garlic smuggling operation which operates across the EU and has Sweden among its destinations.

A shipment of 22 pallets of the offending onion was recently seized in Svinesund in western Sweden, according to a report in the local Strömstads Tidning daily.

High EU import tariffs have rendered the humble vegetable, a must have for a range of culinary dishes, a valuable commodity.

To circumnavigate the punitive tolls, the shipments of garlic are instead fenced through Norway, a country which allows duty-free imports, before finding their way onto the streets of Sweden and other EU countries.

The EU Commission’s anti-fraud office estimates that garlic worth a total of 150 million kronor ($19.2 million) has been smuggled into the EU via Norway.

“The charges for a single shipment, around 22 pallets, amounts to 320,000 kronor,” said Gunnar Oleniusson at the Swedish customs in Svinesund.

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