Last month (March), the container ship ‘Queen Elisabeth’ loaded up with a cargo of cigarettes at Famagusta port, then sailed outside Turkish territorial waters and offloaded its cargo onto another ship, the ‘Tianjin 1’. The documents required to make this transfer were fake.
However, police had been tipped off about this smuggling attempt and arrested the captain and various crew members of the ‘Tianjin 1’. They are now analysing computers and other equipment used in the production of the fake documents.
Yesterday, those arrested were in Famagusta Court where they were ordered to be held for 3 days while police investigations continue.
The lawyer for the defendants, Ismail Saglamer has come up with an interesting defence. He says that outside of territorial waters, his clients can do what they want with the cigarettes and did not need to have any documents, forged or otherwise.