19 January 2013

Tunisia: Contraband Up By 330 Percent in 2012 - Prime Ministry

Tunis — Some 4,079 reports on the confiscation of contraband goods were recorded by the subcommittee of fight against contraband in 2012, up by 330% compared with 2011, and by 9% compared with 2010, according to a communiqué released on the occasion of the evaluation meeting of the National Price-Control Commission.

The value of confiscated goods reached, according to a communiqué of the Prime Ministry, 168 Million Tunisian Dinars (MTD) in 2012 compared with 51 MTD in 2011, i.e. a 117 MTD rise.

The main smuggling activities undertaken in the country at the level of its western borders with Algeria and Southern borders with Libya, regard livestock, hydrocarbons, alcoholic beverages and iron used in construction.

Efforts exerted by the National Guard, the National Army and the Border Guards units as part of joint patrols, aimed to fight all contraband forms, notably those targeting sheep were also the focus of the evaluation meeting.

The commission members pointed out the attacks perpetrated against the Customs Guard's equipments and premises, actually, in the period ranging between January 2011 and October 2012, 140 attacks against customs officers and customs premises were recorded.

The commission called for associating all the nation's driving forces, political parties, media, civil society and citizens, in the fight against the contraband phenomenon, so as to safeguard the country's economy and security and the citizen's purchase power.

Contraband is one of the ills of the Tunisian economy which has been struggling to recover since the Revolution.

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