Cyprus Mail

Would-be tobacco smugglers jailed, fined

larnaca international airport glafcos clerides lca
File photo: Larnaca International Airport

The customs department has seized thousands of tobacco products from passengers of Turkish Cypriot origin at Larnaca airport, according to an announcement released on Saturday.

According to the announcement, customs officials conducted a routine check on March 21, which led to the discovery of a significant amount of illegal tobacco products in the luggage of six passengers of Turkish Cypriot origin. The passengers were reportedly on their way to Luton, United Kingdom.

A total of 28,500 grammes of Amber Leaf brand rolling tobacco and 975 cartons (195,000 cigarettes) of Benson & Hedges, Parliament, Davidoff, and Silk Cut were found in their luggage.

Moreover, the seized tobacco products did not carry the legally required smoking hazard label, and unique traceability identifier.

The department noted that the individuals in question were immediately arrested for their customs offences, and the tobacco products confiscated.

The seized tobacco products are valued at €68,475.

The six passengers were brought before the Larnaca District Court on March 22, and the court issued a three-day detention order.

In addition, on March 24, the customs department filed indictments against them, and the court tried the cases on the same day.

One of the six defendants was sentenced to 45 days in prison, while the remaining five defendants were each fined €3,000 for their involvement in illegal tobacco trafficking.

Finally, the department reiterated its commitment to combatting illegal trade and urged the public to refrain from engaging in any form of illicit activity that undermines the country’s economic and social stability.

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