Turkish Cypriot Authorities Seize Smuggled Beef and Lamb

In a significant crackdown on illegal trade, Turkish Cypriot authorities have seized nearly two metric tonnes of beef smuggled from the Republic into the north. The operation, conducted by the Turkish Cypriot police in collaboration with the north’s customs department, took place on Thursday night in the Kyrenia district, leading to the arrest of three men.

The seized contraband, totaling 1,987.7 kilograms of beef and an additional 67.1kg of lamb, was discovered in supermarkets located in Kyrenia and Karavas. This seizure is part of a growing trend of meat smuggling driven by the substantial price difference between the north and the Republic, with consumers increasingly resorting to illegal means to procure cheaper meat products.

Earlier incidents this month highlighted the issue when a man was fined for attempting to smuggle 143kg of red meat across the Ayios Dhometios crossing point. Another operation near the Pergamos crossing point and Lysi village uncovered 140kg of beef smuggled from the Republic.

The economic impact of this illicit trade is being felt by local butchers in the north, who face rising costs and a dwindling customer base. In January, in protest of the dire situation, butchers slaughtered two lambs and called on the government to find a solution that would allow competitive pricing similar to that in the Republic of Cyprus.

Butchers have voiced their frustration, stating that they are forced to discard unsold meat that spoils and that animal slaughter rates have plummeted. They accuse the government of ignoring the crisis while their businesses struggle to cover essential expenses like electricity bills and rent.

The government’s response to these concerns remains to be seen, but for now, Turkish Cypriot authorities continue to combat the smuggling operations that undermine local businesses and pose challenges to economic stability in the region.

beef smuggling

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