Tobacco smuggling remains alive and kicking despite numerous seizures of shipments of thousands of packets of contraband cigarettes and the detection of illegal factories.
Indicatively, in the last few months alone, 11 containers have been seized at the northeastern port of Igoumenitsa and Greece’s main port of Piraeus.
An independent report by KPMG found the consumption of smuggled cigarettes in Greece in 2021 accounted for 24% of total consumption, with lost revenues reaching €604 million.
Tellingly, in 2009, before the economic crisis, the consumption of smuggled cigarettes accounted for 3% of total consumption.
This percentage increased to 21% in 2014 before climbing to 24% of the total in 2021.
The scourge of tobacco smuggling has multiple causes, according to tobacco industry players.