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Greece charges German with smuggling silver

ATHENS, Greece (AP) -- A German man has been charged with trying to smuggle hundreds of pounds of silver out of Greece, part of a crackdown on the pawnbroker trade flourishing since Athens nearly went broke three years ago.

A statement from financial police investigators alleges the suspect tried to send 425 kilograms (940 pounds) of silver to Germany using a cargo flight from Athens Airport on Thursday. It says authorities also confiscated 7.2 kilograms of gold and nearly 300,000 euros in cash in his possession.

The suspect was charged Friday with smuggling and money-laundering.

Greece has been surviving on international bailouts funds since its economy imploded in 2010. Pawn shops — often illegal — have mushroomed, offering cash for gold and silver jewelry as the country fights a deep recession and record joblessness.