Two arrested for tobacco, cigarette smuggling

Two Chinese nationals were arrested by the police financial crimes squad late Saturday night and 983 kilos of contraband tobacco and 409 packets of contraband cigarettes were seized, while case files have been drafted on two more Chinese nationals believed to be living in London and were apparently the end recipients of the contraband.

    Police said that during a coordinated operation late Saturday night following information received, in the warehouse of a transport company in Aspropyrgos, the contraband tobacco was found in 352 plastic bags hidden in crates filled with clothing.

    According to police, the two detainees were responsible for coordinating the international movement of the crates, which were destined for London.

    One of the detainees, who was arrested near Omonia Square in downtown Athens, was found with two seals containing the information of companies, similar to the seals contained on the accompanying documents for the crates in which the contraband tobacco was found, and photocopies of the accompanying documents.

    Police also seized 1,200 euros in cash and a car.

    The investigation revealed that more such cargoes had been moved with the same process by the two detainees in the recent past.

    Greece's financial crimes police are collaborating with similar authorities in France and Britain and with Europol and Interpol to ascertain whether contraband tobacco had been trafficked in those instances.

    The detainees were due to be taken before an Athens prosecutor on charges of tobacco and cigarette smuggling.


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