A total of 64 kilograms of meat smuggled from the Republic was found and seized by police in the north on Tuesday night.

The meat was found in a house in the village of Yerolakkos with the house’s owner, a 63-year-old man, who was arrested.

Police investigation into the matter is ongoing.

Cases of police in the north finding and seizing large quantities of meat smuggled from the Republic have been increasing in both frequency and volume in recent months.

Last week, almost two metric tonnes of beef and 67kg of lamb were seized from two supermarkets in the Kyrenia district, while a man was fined earlier this month after attempting to smuggle 143kg of red meat through the Ayios Dhometios crossing point.

Meat prices in the north are significantly higher than in the Republic, with Turkish Cypriot butchers finding themselves squeezed by rising costs and a shrinking consumer base.

Turkish Cypriot butchers slaughtered two lambs in protest of the situation in January and demanded the north’s ‘government’ “find a solution” to allow meat to be sold at a price range in line with prices in the Republic.

“We are currently seeing our own citizens travel to the south 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.

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