Border cops seize 82,000 litres of contraband booze
French customs officials have seized 82,000 litres of contraband alcohol destined for the UK and Ireland in the last six weeks, authorities said on Tuesday.
The amount represents half of the total quantity seized in the whole of 2010 and has a value of more than €1 million.
Huge quantities of vodka and whisky were found during random spot checks on six trucks on roads heading towards ports and at embarkation points for cross-channel ferries.
"The contraband was spread out among water, olive oil, wine and other food products," said the customs authorities.
"Taxes on strong alcohol in Great Britain are double those in France," said Aurélie Puyau, a customs chief in the coastal town of Boulogne-sur-Mer to newspaper Le Figaro. "Taxes on beer are even six times as high. In Ireland, the tax rates are even higher."
Smuggling remains a big problem for customs authorities between the continent and the UK. In 2010, tobacco worth €81 million was seized by authorities.
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