Georgian government allows cigarette smuggling from Abkhazia, Gali residents say

From: Democracy & Freedom Watch

GALI, DFWatch–The Georgian government has unofficially given Gali residents a green light for smuggling cigarettes, likely as part of the election campaign, according to locals DFWatch spoke to.

They have received explicit messages from Georgian law enforcers, they said.

“Everybody knows each other here, almost all law enforcement knows who smuggle cigarettes. For the past week, traders were told that they could bring counterfeit [cigarettes from Gali to Zugdidi]. Perhaps it is an attempt to gather votes. There can’t be any other explanation,” a resident of Gali who had recently started this illegal trade to earn her livelihood told us.

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