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Smuggling of 425 kg of pure silver has been prevented

12 April 2013 / 13:04:13  GRReporter
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Police and customs officers have prevented the illegal export of 425 kg of pure silver at "Eleftheros Venizelos" airport in Athens. The control authorities in Athens detected the precious metal on its way to Munich, Germany. The silver had been declared as owned by a Greek company registered in the capital. A check by the economic police revealed that the company did not carry out any business activity but was the cover of other activities instead.

The silver was to have been transferred with false documents and invoices. On Thursday evening, another illicit cargo, namely 7.2 kg of unregistered gold, was detected on Lufthansa’s flight to Munich. The police arrested a German citizen, aged 31, who had around 300,000 euro on him, which he had not declared. The documents of the ownership of the gold presented by the German citizen were also false and contained the data of the phantom company, with which the silver package had been connected.

So far, 425 kg of silver, 7.2 kg of gold and 293,000 euro have been seized, which will be submitted to the deposits and loans fund of the public administration. The German citizen has been apprehended and he will face the Athens court on charges of precious metals smuggling.

Following the deterioration of the economic conditions due to the crisis, the number of offices buying precious metals in Greece has significantly increased. TV ads, large banners and other promotional materials for the purchase of gold can be seen on every corner of Athens and in other Greek cities. They offer attractive prices and cash to the owners of jewellery or tableware of precious metals.

More than a year and a half ago, the head of the Hellenic Centre of Gold Silversmiths Trade Vassilis Likos had warned that the market for gold and silver was full of scammers. He insisted that if the government did not take measures and tighten the controls on the trade in precious metals, the Greeks would have sold the gold collected in the last 40 years by the end of 2013.

Tags: Crime newsSmugglingGoldSilverGreeceMunich
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