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Hungary’s tax office recruits drones to crack down on cigarette smugglers

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Hungaryʼs National Tax and Customs Authority (NAV) acquired drones through HUF 20 million in European Union funding to crack down on cigarette smugglers, Hungarian daily Magyar Idők reported today.

NAV is planning to employ heat cameras, night goggles, recording devices and also hovercrafts in the near future to detect smuggling activities, according to the daily.

NAV spokesperson Alexandra Sárközi said the office needs to keep up with the technological developments, adding that with the application of drones the office will be able to track smugglers without them realizing it.

The spokesperson noted that NAV seized more than 43 million contraband cigarettes with a market value of about HUF 1.7 billion last year, along with almost 70 tons of loose leaf tobacco.

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