Install

Get the latest updates as we post them — right on your browser

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Russians Caught In Tobacco Fracas

.


Several Italian newspapers carried reports Wednesday that four fishing boats near the island of Stromboli, off Sicily's northern coast, forced a Russian trawler to stop this week and demanded astonished crewmen hand over their cigarettes, Reuters said.


A strike by Italian tobacco-industry workers last month has paralyzed the nation's cigarette distribution system and sent the price of contraband foreign brands rocketing.


The dispute has been a heaven-sent opportunity for peddlars of smuggled cigarettes who have found increasingly ingenious ways of trying to avoid police checks.


Highway police found 90 kilograms of smuggled cigarettes in a coffin when they stopped a hearse to check for contraband, officials said Wednesday.