Malaga has become the second Andalusian province with the highest percentage of smuggling in Andalusia. In particular, the levels of contraband tobacco consumed in the province reached 52.6 percent last year, following closely Seville, who heads the Andalusian ranking with a rate of 56.5. In both areas, smuggling has increased dramatically in the last year. Cadiz, for example, is another bastion of trade of illegal tobacco with 47.6 percent.
As a result the tax authorities have missed out on approximately 165.4 million euros, according to estimates by Altadis, the main Spanish tobacco merchant, and who had access to this newspaper. This negative development is aligned with the Andalusian average, whose revenue fell by 35.6 percent, from technical calculations. For tobacco, levels of contraband have been the highest since 2008.
In Spain currently fraudulent sales of tobacco are slightly above 11 percent
The Director of Corporate and Legal Affairs of Altadis, Dew Ingelmo recently attributed the reappearance of this tendency to “lower purchasing power of consumers” caused by “the economic crisis”, with the “high price of tobacco.”
Illegal smuggling of tobacco has increased by 34 percent in the province Málaga. If we analyse the income losses through taxes, the province represents 14.3 of all the illegal sale that takes place in Spain. Andalucia accounts for 51.4 per cent, with more than half of the illegal sale of cigarettes in the country.
One of the routes into this illicit trade is La Línea de la Concepción in Cadiz, “an area,” said Ingelmo, “with a high incidence of smuggling, where the consumption of this illegal product, as in the rest of Andalucía , is conceived as a standard practice. “
The increased consumption of illegal cigarettes has had the effect on the decline in products sold in tobacconists 1.2 percent in Andalusia. Thus, cigarette sales in 2013, were about 357.3 million packs, which have been reduced to 353 million units.
Altadis makers have highlighted before that the public and private sectors need to “unite to achieve consumer awareness about the harm caused by illegal purchase of tobacco in society”. Not only will they extend the closure of establishments but “rising unemployment,” they added.
President of the Union of Tobacconists in Spain, in turn, head of the group in Malaga, Mario Espejo said that in recent days “consumers are the key to stopping the smuggling” as long as they refuse to buy illegal products there would be no market.”
Another parallel danger is damage to children. President of the Consumers Union of Andalusia (UCA / UCE), Juan Moreno, said during a conference in Seville the particular gravity of these transactions in relation to children and that “the sale through clandestine channels allows them access to the product”.