EU to Sue U.S. Tobacco Companies
BRUSSELS, Belgium (Reuters) - The European Union's executive Commission said on Thursday it planned to sue a number of U.S. tobacco companies in U.S. courts for alleged cigarette smuggling into the EU.
``We would like to confirm news reports concerning a decision in principle by the Commission to launch a civil action in the United States against a number of U.S. tobacco companies,'' the Commission said in a statement read out at a daily news briefing.
``The case concerns the alleged implication of these companies in cigarette smuggling into the European Union.''
It would not, in reply to reporters' questions, say where or when the alleged smuggling had taken place or to give brands, company names or figures.
It said however that cigarette smuggling was the biggest single fraud against the EU budget, worth billions of dollars over years.
``The aim is to achieve a degree of compensation for the alleged loss of revenues,'' the Commission said.