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The Independent Online
Germany won agreement from Vietnam yesterday for the repatriation of thousands of immigrants suspected of involvement in Berlin's escalating gangland war among cigarette mafias.

According to a deal announced by officials of the two countries in Hanoi, Vietnam will speed up the paper work that has been holding up the return of some 40,000 of its citizens living illegally in Germany. The two police forces will also co-ordinate their battle against organised syndicates, whose rivalries have so far claimed the lives of 35 gang members in Berlin.

Vietnamese immigrants control the market for smuggled cigarettes in eastern Germany, which is estimated to cost the state DM1bn in lost revenue every year. Though the racket was started by Vietnamese students and guest workers, the pioneers have since been squeezed out by hardened criminals. Imre Karacs- Bonn