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Athens News Agency: News in English, 11-11-09

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Papandreou speaks on phone with French President Sarkozy
  • [02] Major contraband cigarette syndicate broken up

  • [01] Papandreou speaks on phone with French President Sarkozy

    AMNA--Prime Minister George Papandreou on Wednesday had a telephone contact with French President Nicolas Sarkozy. According to a government announcement the two officials discussed the developments in Europe and the eurozone and the Greek premier briefed the French President on the initiatives he has undertaken and the subsequent developments towards a cooperation between the Greek political powers in order to safeguard the implementation of the Oct. 26 eurzone summit decision and the country's course in the eurozone. amna

    On his part Sarkozy expressed his respect for their cooperation and PM Papandreou's work and asked that their personal contact and close cooperation continues in the future.

    [02] Major contraband cigarette syndicate broken up

    AMNA--Greek police late Tuesday arrested 18 people in a sweep operation on an organised crime syndicate smuggling contraband cigarettes, and the operation was still ongoing on Wednesday morning.

    Among the arrestees are four Harbour Corps officials, including a high-ranking officer serving in what police said was a "key" position in the Aegean, who are charged with providing cover for the smugglers.amna

    One of the Greek police's biggest successes against organised crime, the smuggling syndicate, which has caused tens of millions of euros in damage to the Greek state from tax duties not attributed to the state, was uncovered and broken up after several months of investigations.amna

    According to initial information from the police and the Harbor Corps, the unattributed tax duties from just two instances of contraband cigarette smuggling by the syndicate, which were uncovered a few months ago, amount to 11.5 million euros, but are just "a drop in the ocean", police said, given the immense dimensions of the syndicate's operations of "innumerable shiploads" of contraband cigarettes smuggled into Greece and other European countries.

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