The European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF), in co-operation with Greek and Cypriot authorities, has seized more than 33m cigarettes in Greece, it was announced on Friday.
According to a statement from OLAF, the cigarettes were initially shipped to Asia legally but then they found their way back to Europe, illegally.
“During an operation which lasted several months, the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) worked closely with Greek and Cypriot authorities to track the shipment and seize more than 33 million cigarettes in Greece,” OLAF said. “This was the largest of five operations in which a total of more than 75 million cigarettes were seized in Greece, Russia, Germany and Spain between December 2015 and January 2016.”
OLAF’s promising start to the year builds on the remarkable results the office achieved in 2015, when over 600m cigarettes were seized.
All the cigarettes seized in these operations were so-called “cheap-whites”. They were mostly Richman, Royal, RGD and Jim, although new brands have also surfaced, such as the Vietnamese brand Aroma.