Cyprus Mail
Cyprus

New four-day remand for tobacco suspect

Larnaca courthouse

The Larnaca district court on Saturday extended the remand of a 37-year-old man for four more days as authorities investigate his involvement in a case of almost 20 tonnes of illegal tobacco and 630,000 cigarettes found in a warehouse in Aradippou, Larnaca.

The man, who is refusing to co-operate with authorities, is suspected of being involved in the trafficking of the contraband, with unpaid duties and taxes estimated to be around €3mln.

Inside the warehouse, authorities found 170 boxes containing 19.5 tonnes of tobacco, and 63 boxes with 10,000 cigarettes each. Customs officers also found a cigarette making machine.

A number of documents were also seized.

Two vehicles were found outside – a van and a saloon – but the registered owner claimed he never had them in his possession and did not know how they ended up being registered to his name.

Five men of African origin were also found in the warehouse. Three were arrested for working without permits. Two of them named the 37-year-old as the man who employed them and gave them instructions on what to do.

Authorities were seeking the person whose name appears on the lease, the court heard. They were also trying to determine the country of the tobacco’s origin and whether additional contraband was stored elsewhere.

 

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