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From the Seized Tobacco, 7 Tons of the Highest Quality Organic Fertilizer Were Obtained

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Over 5 tons of illegal cut tobacco, as much as 3.5 tons of leaf tobacco, 26,000 boxes of cigarettes, 12,000 boxes of roll-your-own cigarettes, 2 tons of hookah tobacco, and nearly 1,200 packages of snus tobacco were destroyed in Smederevo. The seizure of these tobacco products prevented a loss to the budget of the Republic of Serbia of around 200 million dinars, stated Trade Minister Tomislav Momirović after the destruction of the tobacco confiscated in the recent period.

“The state has an obligation to fund a large number of public services, such as education, healthcare, police, and military, all of which are primarily financed through excise taxes and sales taxes. Individuals who purchase untaxed cigarettes are effectively ‘taking’ money from these public services that serve all citizens of Serbia. We are determined to halt all forms of the grey economy, and therefore, our state will have zero tolerance towards the grey economy, especially when it comes to the trade of tobacco products,” Minister Momirović stated. He added that by purchasing on the illegal market, our citizens also expose themselves to health risks, given that products bought on the black market have not undergone the necessary controls by the appropriate state inspections.

Tobacco Transformed into Fertilizer

The Market Inspection seized tobacco was converted into compost – a natural organic fertilizer. In this way, something highly beneficial was created from illegal tobacco products, which cause significant harm to both the national budget and the citizens. Composting tobacco is a method first applied in Serbia for the disposal of tobacco products seized on the black market and represents the most environmentally friendly waste disposal method. This action produced 7 tons of the highest quality fertilizer suitable for organic planting.

JTI, in collaboration with the police and the Phytosanitary Inspection, developed the “Satellite” project, which enables the detection of illegal tobacco plantations using the latest technology. From 2017 to date, the results have been improving year by year, showing a 99% reduction in illegal tobacco plantations since the project’s inception.

A total of 858 tons of illegal tobacco plantations, which would have caused damage to the budget of the Republic of Serbia, were destroyed, achieving excellent preventive results in cooperation with state bodies and thereby preventing damage to the national budget amounting to 483 million euros. Just last year, 52.4 tons of illegally planted tobacco were destroyed.

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