Ministry targets illegal traders

The Ministry of Development decided Wednesday to step up efforts to battle illegal street trading with a seven-point action plan, according to officials.

The plan includes the creation of an operations room that will coordinate the responsible services on a daily basis. ?It was not just another meeting about the illegal street trade. We wish to move from theory to practice and apply permanent and thorough sweeps,? said Development Minister Costis Hatzidakis after a broad meeting that included representatives of the coast guard, the municipal police and traders.

The other six points include setting up a special telephone line, the installation of X-ray scanners at large ports and border posts, the intensification of sample inspections based on risk analysis by using criteria of origin and receiver, and transfers of customs officials who will be posted for maximum periods in order to limit corruption.

Separately, the Papastratos tobacco company said it will offer special seminars to financial investigators on how to identify contraband tobacco cargoes, as well as providing special scanners.