Costa Rica News – We are just three months into the year, and already in the first two months the amount of seized illegal cigarettes is higher than in the first half of last year. By the end of February, 14 million units had been confiscated.
In total, last year saw 21,816,820 seized units, which was the highest since 2010. It seems that this year the figure will be even higher. Most of the smuggled cigarettes are found near the borders, at the port of Limon, and in the international airports, and are of low quality.
Luis Alonso Bonilla, the Police Director of Fiscal Control of the Ministry of Finance, explained that increased seizure doesn’t mean increased smuggling. It does, however, suggest a movement of the product to more people.
A border patrol officer said that confiscating the cigarettes is not all about tax issues, it is, instead, that “The cigar itself is harmful, but if there’s no quality control it’s even more harmful. Previously, we’ve detected tobacco that contains rat feces, mold and other substances that can jeopardize your health.”
Costa Rica is falling to a point of no return with the drug cartels taking over various areas of the country, shark finning being allowed in it’s waters, and a place where money can buy you out of almost anything……I guess the last point does not make it much different than the rest of the world.