Considerable success in the effort to combat smuggling of excisable products, to tackle financial crime and fraud against the interests of the Greek State and the EU and to safeguard citizenshealth, was noted by auditors of the General Directorate of SDOE.

Illegal trade, including the smuggling of alcoholic beverages, is one of the major modern scourges, as it is a multifaceted problem that seriously affects legitimate businesses, employment and the economy, while creating serious risks for consumer safety.

After receiving intelligence by SEK, auditors of the Operational Directorate of SDOE Attica succeeded in locating an illegal laboratory for the preparation and bottling of alcoholic beverages, in the areas of Aspropyrgos and Kallithea, on 5/5/2023. Two additional storage areas for illegal/adulterated alcoholic beverages and counterfeit bottling and packaging materials for alcoholic beverages (caps, films, adhesive labels) were also located.

At the checkpoints, 1,360 bottles of alcoholic beverages and plastic PET containers, 1,030 fake labels, 2,000 caps bearing counterfeit labels of branded alcoholic beverages, 1,000 cardboard packaging boxes, a large number of empty bottles of branded alcoholic beverages that would be refilled with the illegal/adulterated alcoholic beverage, bottling machines, bottle filling machines, pumps with corresponding water purification filters and label gluing tools were seized. All quantities of alcoholic beverages seized lacked tax and customs documents.

Samples were taken to the competent Chemical Service so that they could be laboratorytested in order to determine any danger to public health.The seized quantities of alcoholic beverages were transferred for storage. The competent Customs Office was noticed to determine the amount of the evaded taxes and duties.

The damage to trade mark proprietors (producers of alcoholic beverages) and the illegal pecuniary advantage is estimated to exceed €250,000.

Two Greek nationals, aged 44 and 43 respectively, were arrested, against whom a case was formed for forgery, infringement of the Customs Code, infringement of the Law on Trade Marks and Unfair Competition, as well as the Market Code.

Alcohol smuggling extends beyond the borders of any country and poses a significant global threat to citizens' health.

SDOEcontinuesunabated the fightagainstorganizedfinancialcrime, while remains inconstantcooperationwithinternationalorganizations and otherprosecutingauthorities with the aim to dismantlecriminalnetworks and reduce the riskposed by illicittraffickingproductstopublichealth, and toprotecteffectively consumers,as well as thefinancialinterests of ourcountryandEU,preventingfraudinallitsforms.