Turkey seizes 3.5 million packets of cigarettes smuggled from Georgia
ANKARA – Doğan News Agency
DHA photoTurkish police seized 3.5 million packs of smuggled cigarettes, worth 22 million Turkish Liras, at the Sarp border gate in trucks crossing into Turkey from Georgia.
Turkey’s Customs Enforcement and Anti-Smuggling and Intelligence Directorate launched an undercover operation on May 18 upon intelligence that tobacco goods were to be smuggled into Turkey. After receiving the information, registration of entries and exits, along with ground camera recordings of both border sides, were examined confidentially.
The intelligence directorate detected certain vehicles with Georgian and Turkish license plates that had been entering and exiting Turkey through the Sarp Customs Gate, without completing the necessary custom procedures.
On May 22, on the instructions of the Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office in the Hopa district in the Black Sea province of Artvin, the examination and investigation were extended, and vehicles and names were ascertained.
The customs officers working during the transitions of the suspected vehicles will also be monitored for their alleged links to the smuggling gang.
Meanwhile, Turkish police seized 687,000 packets of cigarettes smuggled into the country in an operation in the Black Sea province of Samsun on Aug. 4.
On July 27, the police seized 477,160 packets of smuggled cigarettes in the eastern province of Bitlis.