prolonged probe: The cigarette smuggling case came to light after a two-year investigation Image Credit: Rex Features

Dubai: The chief executive officer of a Jebel Ali Free Zone company is facing charges of smuggling cigarettes, a senior prosecutor has revealed.

Sami Salem Al Shamsi, Chief Prosecutor for Bur Dubai, said they have found enough evidence to drag the chief executive to court in a Dh140-million smuggling case.

“Given Dubai’s prominence as an international trade centre, the Prosecution Office has taken a great interest in this economic violation,” said Al Shamsi.

Prosecutors said the case came to light after a two-year investigation. Dubai Customs filed a complaint against the CEO after they found his company was smuggling various brands of cigarettes outside the free zone.

“The accused used Mersal electronic service to process 237 forms for the past two years to process the goods, but never followed the system fully,” the chief prosecutor said.

The authorities suspected something was amiss but the company’s chief executive dodged an investigation conducted by Dubai Customs.

This led them to seek the help of specialists in the field who discovered the alleged dubious transactions, estimated to be worth Dh140 million.

The cigarettes were of such high quality that the fees involved in processing through customs cost as much as the goods.

In case of any evasion of customs taxes, the fine may reach up to 200 per cent in adherence to the GCC Customs Law.

The case was built after collecting evidence from experts and people involved in the transactions.