Enormous contraband smokes haul off Icaria

The coast guard discovered more than 36 tons kilos of cigarettes stashed on a ship they intercepted off the Aegean island of Icaria, in what port authorities described as the biggest illegal tobacco haul in 10 years. The coast guard boarded the Sierre Leone-flagged vessel after it suffered engine problems and started to drift 10 nautical miles off the island. An inspection of the Viking 1 revealed 36.6 tons of cigarettes that had been loaded at Famagusta in the Turkish-occupied northern part of Cyprus. The five-member crew, who are believed to have been heading for Ukraine, were all arrested. On Wednesday, police confiscated 3.72 million packets of cigarettes at Thermopyles in central Greece. Officials said that their final destination was Belgium or Germany.