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Greek Connection(s): The Social Organization of the Cigarette-Smuggling Business in Greece

NCJ Number
European Journal of Criminology Volume: 5 Issue: 3 Dated: July 2008 Pages: 263-288
Georgios A. Antonopoulos
Date Published
July 2008
26 pages
This article provides an overview of the social organization of the cigarette black market in Greece.
The article notes that contraband cigarettes represent 8 percent of total cigarette consumption in the country of Greece and that the cigarette-smuggling business deprives the Greek state of millions in taxes. Despite the fact that cigarette smuggling has a long history in specific contexts, it has only relatively recently received some media attention in Greece. The purpose of this article, which drew on a variety of data sources and built on a previous study of a cigarette-smuggling network in Greece, was to provide an account of the social organization of the cigarette black market in Greece. The article provides background on: the extent and nature of the cigarette smuggling business in Greece; the ‘actors’ involved in the trade; accounts of the roles of the legal sector; the violence associated with the trade; the sources of cigarettes destined for this black market; the routes that the contraband cigarettes follow; and an account of the distribution aspect of the business. The article uses statistical information from public sources to include the police, customs authority, Coast Guard, and Greek Ministry of Public Order. Additional information was derived from published news articles. Figure, references