A total of 140 kilograms of beef smuggled from the Republic were seized by police in the north on Thursday, with two arrests made.

The first arrestee, a 55-year-old man, was caught while attempting to drive into the north at the Pergamos crossing point. A search of his vehicle found a total of 80 kilograms of frozen beef, which was seized by police.

Later, more than 60 kilograms of beef were found during the search of a house belonging to a 58-year-old man in the village of Lysi, after police investigations determined that he had links to the man arrested earlier.

Meat prices in the north are typically higher than those in the Republic – a fact which is driving Turkish Cypriot consumers to buy meat products south of the Green Line, and, on occasion, illegally take it back to the north.

This has not gone unnoticed by Turkish Cypriot butchers, who slaughtered two lambs during a protest against the north’s ‘government’s’ inaction over the matter last month.

They demanded the ‘government’ “find a solution which would allow meat to be sold at a price range in line with the prices in South Cyprus.

We are currently seeing our own citizens travel to South Cyprus to do their shopping. This has brought vendors, who have been crushed under the weight of economic difficulties, to the point of bankruptcy, meaning they cannot cover basic expenses like their electricity bills or rent,” they said.

They added, “we are throwing away meat we cannot sell because it stinks, and as a result animal slaughter has hit rock bottom,” and that while the crisis is worsening, “the government is acting as if everything is rosy.”