BRUSSELS—U.S. corporate giants are being hit so hard by a European smuggling wave that even the White House has weighed in.
The problem was evident on Romania’s border in March, when authorities acting on a tip stopped a truck from Turkey carrying nine tons of dangerous contraband. Months earlier, Spanish police and customs officials raided a secret warehouse near the city of Granada, impounded 19 tons of illicit substances and arrested three people. In August, authorities in the Italian port of Livorno captured an illegal 3.7-ton shipment from China.
What the officials sought wasn’t drugs or weapons, but industrial refrigerants.