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The cigarette smuggling business in Greece
Antonopoulos, Georgios A.

Cigarette smuggling has recently received increased attention despite the fact that it has a long history in specific contexts. It has been linked with and discussed in relation to other criminal activities, minority ethnic groups, terrorism, health, and finance. The smuggling of tobacco and cigarettes has deep historical roots in the Greek context. Despite this, mild concerns about cigarette smuggling were expressed only in the beginning of the 1990s, when cigarettes were smuggled into Greece from Albania primarily by un-documented migrants, and serious ones in 1995, when the first truckloads of contraband cigarettes were intercepted on the Greek-Bulgarian border. In contrast to official accounts, such as the Ministry of Public Order`s annual reports on organised crime, that Greece is a transit country, evidence suggests that Greece is a source, transit and destination country for smug-gled cigarettes. It is now suggested that contraband cigarettes represent 8% of the total cigarette consumption in the country, and that the cigarette smuggling business deprives the Greek state of millions in taxes.

There are a number of reasons why Greece is an interesting context for the study of cigarette smuggling, apart of course from the fact that cigarette smuggling as a subject of academic inquiry has not received adequate atten-tion in Greece. These include - among others- the percentage of smokers in the overall population, the presence of corruption and a large informal econ-omy in Greece as well as the fact that the street-selling of contraband ciga-rettes is largely tolerated by law enforcement and the Greek public. The pur-pose of this paper is to provide an account of the cigarette black market in Greece, based on a variety of official and `unofficial` sources.


About CCC

The Cross-Border Crime Colloquium is an annual event since 1999. It brings together experts on international organised (economic) crime to discuss the latest developments in empirical research, legislation and law enforcement, with a special geographical focus on Western, Central, and Eastern Europe. The Colloquia aim at building bridges in three respects: between East and West Europe, between scholars and practitioners, and between old and young.
2019Olsztyn, Poland
2021Kongsvinger, Norway (Virtual)
2019Utrecht, the Netherlands
2018Kharkiv, Ukraine
2017Bratislava, Slovakia
2016Newcastle, United Kingdom
2015Prague, Czech Republic
2014Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzeg.
2013Cambridge, United Kingdom
2012Manchester, United Kingdom
2011Tilburg, The Netherlands
2009Ghent, Belgium
2008Beograd, Serbia
2007Prague, Czech Republic
2006Tallinn, Estonia
2005Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzeg.
2004Berlin, Germany
2003Ainring, Germany
2002Ljubljana, Slovenia
2001Bratislava, Slovakia
2000Budapest, Hungary
1999Prague, Czech Republic

The 22nd Cross-border Crime Colloquium will be hosted by the The University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, Poland on 10 and 11 October 2022. We will soon share the agenda and details on how to attend.
For information, please contact
Prof. Dr. Joanna Banach-Gutierrez:
Prof. Dr. Petrus C. van Duyne:

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