Illicit smokes ring smashed

Illicit smokes ring smashed

The police’s financial crimes division has busted a major bootleg tobacco racket whose operations from November 2021 to the present day are estimated to have deprived state coffers of around 3.5 million euros in customs levies and taxes.

According to a police bulletin on Saturday, investigators arrested 11 suspected members of the racket and dismantled a relatively sophisticated production facility in the Attica port city of Piraeus, where the gang is believed to have made and packaged cigarettes and other tobacco products for sale on the black market in Greece and abroad.

They also seized more than a million cigarettes, 13 tons of tobacco and 12 vehicles.

Of the 11 suspects, two are Greek nationals and are believed to have run the plant themselves or possibly for someone else, while the other nine are foreign nationals, who police said were not allowed to leave the facility even for a walk in the courtyard or to have mobile phones.

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