Public coffers miss out on millions from smuggled Chinese goods


The Financial Crimes Squad (SDOE) has discovered that a large number of containers with Chinese products have been smuggled into Greece, it was revealed on Friday.

A group of SDOE officers found 49 such containers in Aspropyrgos, west of Athens, over the holiday period.

The shipment was supposed to be on its way to Italy from China but was unloaded at Piraeus, meaning that 8 million euros in value-added tax had to be paid in Greece.

Officers discovered that a ring was intentionally smuggling the products into Greece so they could be sold on the local market and the discovery made over Christmas was just the tip of the iceberg.

SDOE chief Stavros Thomadakis said that more than 5,000 containers a year are likely to have been smuggled into the country by the ring.

Officers have detected nine companies registered in Greece that appear to be linked to the practice. Another 17 companies in Italy were made to look like the final recipients of the goods.

Six people have been arrested so far, including two customs officials.