The methods they employed to smuggle the duty-free items are listed one by one in the indictment. The State is said to have lost 2.5 billion YTL as a result of the scams.
How does the system work?
• Each duty-free shop works with 5-6 smugglers, and each of these smugglers set up groups of 30-40 people who cross the border several times in one day.
• These people have a duty-free allowance of up to 4 bottles of alcoholic drinks, 3 cartons of cigarettes and one box of cigars. When passenger vehicles arrive at the border, smugglers load their own lorries with goods bought at a duty-free shop, using up the duty-free allowance of passengers.
• During this process, bribes were paid to border Customs Officers and Police.
• The lorry then went to Edirne and met with people who work with the smugglers. The goods are taken to a warehouse. Passengers are paid around 2,000-3,000 Euros, depending on the role they play in the smuggling process.
• The goods are then taken to Istanbul where they are sold through a distribution web, and the duty-free shops are paid for the goods. The untaxed profits are then theirs to keep.