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Turkey seized 3.5 mln smuggled cigarette packs

Turkish police seized 3.5 million packs of cigarettes hidden on trucks coming in from Georgia

Published: Updated:

Turkish police have seized 3.5 million packs of cigarettes hidden on trucks coming in from Georgia, the largest such seizure in the history of modern Turkey, the government said Wednesday.

Five trucks loaded with the cigarettes were seized at the Black Sea border post of Sarp late Tuesday following a three-month undercover operation, the customs ministry said in a statement.

"When the smuggled cigarettes were seized in the operation, the largest shipment of smuggled cigarettes in Turkey's history was prevented," it said.

The illicit cigarettes were worth an estimated 22 million lira ($7.9 million, 7.2 million euros).

Fifteen suspects, including five customs officers as well as drivers and dealers, have been arrested.