2 held in Greek border region for illegal herb harvesting

Greek police say they have arrested two Albanian men in a border region for allegedly illegally harvesting herbs growing wild on the mountainside.

A police statement Tuesday said the men aged 20 and 22 had gathered 16 kilos of ironwort, a herb used for a traditional tea. They were also charged with illegally entering Greece from Albania, in the Krystallopigi area.

Greece's mountains are rife with herbs traditionally used for medicinal purposes or tea. But Greek legislation places strict limits on their harvesting, which is only allowed for a few weeks every season and in quantities of up to 2 kilograms per person annually.

If convicted, the two men face maximum 12-month prison sentences.