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Major smuggling operation exposed

12 October 2012

Yesterday we reported on the initial arrests related to a cigarette smuggling ring revealed in Famagusta, North Cyprus.

Today, following intensive police investigations, the following facts have come to light:

The quantity of duty free cigarette packets seized has now risen to 13,000 and the number of
arrested in connection to the bust has risen to five.

Famagusta police have revealed that these cigarettes were delivered by an unidentified vessel and
then offloaded using two speed boats. As police inquiries deepen, a number of people have been
released on bail, including the European Hotel Sales Manager and Public Relations Manager, passports and travel documents have also been seized.

The police operation came about after a member of the public tipped off local police.

Criminal gangs worldwide employ smugglers to sell cheap cigarettes. In western Europe alone, lost tax revenues from illegally imported cigarettes is believed to reach more than £7bn annually.

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