Athens, December 10, 2015/Independent Balkan News Agency
By Olga Mavrou
The tobacco company Papastratos (local affiliate of Philip Morris International in Greece) donated to the Finance Ministry a mobile x-ray scanner for vehicle inspections, in order to facilitate the state effort to combat smuggling illegal tobacco. Mr Tryfonas Alexiadis, alternate Finance Minister, signed for the acceptance of the donation and said “this will help Greece to combat smuggling and the resulting great losses of revenues from tax evasion”. The consumption of illegal tobacco is estimated in 22% of all tobacco consumption in Greece.
The scanner has a cost of 2 million euros as the company said to Independent Balkan News Agency and is the first (and only) mobile scanner in Greece. It can be used to scan trucks and containers. It will probably be used in ports, in the borders and also in various “hot spots” in the rout smugglers usually take.
Papastratos’ CEO mr Christos Charpantidis said that the company will continue supporting the state to address this serious smuggling problem. “As a copany” he said “we started this fight since 2012, because smuggling affects not only the state revenues, but also the tobacco industry, which supports 60.000 families and is representing the 7% of the revenues of the state”.