Four people, one of them a customs official, are under arrest as police investigate an attempt to smuggle duty free tobacco into the country through Larnaca Airport, the Cyprus News Agency reports.
It said that at around 9.30 pm on Monday, a 49 year old Greek Cypriot and a non-Cypriot aged 20 had arrived at Larnaca on a flight from Beirut.
Acting on a tip off that the 49 year old had duty free tobacco in his possession, police put the arrivals area under surveillance.
The two passengers, in cooperation with a 38 year old customs official, went through customs without being checked but were later stopped by police who found 17 kilos of hookah tobacco and 1200 cigarettes in their luggage.
A little later, a 55 year old man arrived at the airport and was stopped by police. He told police had told his brother to bring the tobacco from Beirut and that he had brought €4000 with him to pay the duties.
He too was arrested. All four are being investigated for conspiracy to commit an offence, possession of duty free items and fraudulent attempt to avoid paying duties.
The customs official also faces possible charges of abuse of power and dereliction of duty.
The four are expected to appear before Larnaca district court later today to be remanded in custody.