3 Million Cigarette Packets Seized from a Cargo Ship

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On July 14, a Ukraine-flagged cargo ship with 3 million Cigarette packages was detained by Customs officials off Istanbul’s Bosphorus Strait.

The vessel carrying over 100 tons of cigarettes worth more than 28.5 million Turkish Liras was stopped by authorities on the Bosphorus, upon a tracking operation based on intelligence report.

Istanbul Maritime Customs Enforcement teams received information about the consignment of smuggled cigarettes in advance.  As a part of a wide-scale search they began tracking the vessel, which had left the Famagusta Port in Turkish Cyprus and was headed to Ukraine’s Skadovsk Port.

The enforcement teams seized some 3.3 million packages of cigarettes weighing more than 100 tons while carrying out a raid with the support of coastal security on the vessel off the Zeytinburnu district, Teams also detained six people on the vessel.

Some time back, around 5 million packages of smuggled cigarettes were found by gendarmerie teams during operations in the southeastern province of Hakkari.  The contraband cigarettes were found during raids conducted in villages in the province’s Yüksekova and Şemdinli districts.

Since 2013, a total of 385.8 million packages of smuggled cigarettes have been seized in operations conducted by the Turkish authorities.  3,145 suspects have been arrested.

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Source: Hürriyet Daily News

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