Customs authorities in Piraeus, Greece’s largest port, seized more than 60 million contraband cigarettes hidden in seven containers.
The illegal cargo had started its journey in China with Piraeus as the final destination. According to the shipping documents, the containers were carrying wooden cutlery while the companies that appeared to be importing them are based in Bulgaria and were set up just a few weeks ago.
Greek authorities discovered 40 million cigarettes in the first four containers that arrived at Piraeus, while two more from the same shipment were unloaded in Trieste, Italy, and were seized in cooperation with the EU’s anti-fraud watchdog, OLAF.
The final — seventh — container is expected to arrive in Piraeus soon. All packages bear the logo “Golden” which are traded only on the black market of cigarettes.
The investigation started after the Coordination Business Center (SEC) received a tip, according to which four containers of smuggled cigarettes had arrived at the port.