Ex-military commander arrested at Ercan Airport for smuggling cigarettes

A retired commander of the Turkish Cypriot Peace Forces (KTBK), has been arrested for smuggling three suitcases filled with electronic cigarettes.

Lieutenant General (Retired) Ömer Paç, was brought to a court in Lefkosia on Friday, Feb., 23.

Police told the court that at around 6:00am on February 22, 2024, Ömer Paç took three suitcases full of 478 cartons of electronic cigarette tobacco from the VIP passenger departure section at Ercan Airport abroad, without obtaining an exporter’s permit from the Trade Department under the Ministry of Economy and Energy. This was in violation of the Trade Regulation and Control Act, the police officer said.

The illegal exports were seized at Ankara Esenboğa Airport on the same day. The police stated that the suspect returned to the country at around 10.30pm on the same day and was arrested on February 23, 2023. The e-cigarettes were confiscated in Ankara and negotiations with the Turkish authorities regarding this matter are under way.

The police noted that a search of the suspect’s house was required and that they also determined that there were others connected to the matter.

Additionally, the police announced that the suspect travels frequently, and that the persons and X-ray device images related to the matter should be examined and concluded.

The police stated that if the suspect was released, he could affect these witnesses and the investigation, and requested that he be detained for three days.

Ömer Paç’s lawyer requested that he be examined by a doctor.

The judge who evaluated the testimony before him, ordered that Paç be detained for three days and examined by a doctor at a fully equipped state hospital.

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