Tax revenues go up in smuggled smoke

Over the last four months, customs officials have seized some 3 million packets of cigarettes being smuggled across Greek borders and worth about 6 million euros in lost tax revenues, as authorities struggle to contain the booming trade, sources told Kathimerini yesterday. Records of the number of cigarettes seized by Greek customs officials have only been kept systematically for the last four months and the figures have given authorities an indication of the size of the task facing them. Meanwhile, during the same period, police in Athens and Thessaloniki have seized some 1.5 million packets of smuggled cigarettes which managed to make it through customs checks. Because of the volume of goods passing through customs, officials can only check 5 percent of consignments.