Fifteen arrested for cigarette-smuggling

Financial crime squad officials working with police and coast guards in the northeastern Peloponnese arrested 15 people early yesterday on suspicion of smuggling large quantities of contraband cigarettes. In a combined land-and-sea operation, officials detained five foreign seamen aboard the Cambodian-flagged Temeteron freighter, which was lying off the coast of Candia, some 15 kilometers east of Nafplion – one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Peloponnese – and 10 people on land. All 15 suspects had been engaged in unshipping 2,500 crates of contraband cigarettes, police said. Officers seized the ship, together with three lorries and five cars that were to transport the cigarettes to Athens. Meanwhile, officials in the capital have launched a crackdown on illegal street vendors selling smuggled cigarettes.