NEWS

Major customs bust of contraband cigarettes

Just days after the government said it would crack down on illegal and hazardous imports, customs authorities in Piraeus seized two containers containing some 800,000 packs of contraband cigarettes on Wednesday. The shipments, which arrived in the country on November 20 and December 9 from Shanghai in China, were listed as consisting of Christmas goods and decorations. When nobody filled in the paperwork to collect the goods, authorities opened the containers and found the cigarettes, which were made to look like well-known brands. Many fake cigarettes are thought to contain high levels of substances including lead and arsenic. Piraeus customs authorities have launched a preliminary investigation as they believe that this was not an isolated incident and that there are criminal gangs involved in the illegal importation of cigarettes into Greece.