On 12 March 2018 the Head of European Border Assistance Mission to Moldova and Ukraine (EUBAM) paid a visit to the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) in Brussels for meeting the management of Directorates dealing with customs fraud and counteracting illicit turnover of tobacco products.
The Head of EUBAM presented to OLAF’s representatives the Mission’s new mandate and its objectives, focusing on combating cross-border crime. Against this background, he provided the interlocutors an overview on the threats related to smuggling tobacco products in the region, introducing as well EUBAM’s activities and the efforts of the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine in counteracting this phenomenon.
On their side, OLAF’s senior managers presented the Office policy and their actions concerning counteracting cigarettes smuggling and other forms of illicit trade in tobacco products.
EUBAM and OLAF explored opportunities for mutual cooperation in this field. As a conclusion, OLAF reassured its support for the EUBAM’s operational activities and expressed also availability of using their Antifraud Information System (AFIS) as an informational platform for exchange of information during the joint border control operations coordinated by EUBAM. The parties also agreed on concerted efforts related to advocating for stepping up the fight against the smuggling of tobacco products.
EUBAM collaborated with the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) on the implementation of anti-illicit tobacco strategies in both Moldova and Ukraine, as well as the closure of legal and procedural loopholes that facilitate smuggling. OLAF actively participates in the EUBAM-led Task Force Tobacco meetings.