By Samantha Day • 20 February 2020 • 20:00
Daniel Dobbs, 31, of Yorkshire, was allegedly involved in operation which was generating profits of half a million pounds a week.
An escaped British convict has been arrested in Spain after police discovered a subterranean counterfeit cigarette factory – 13 feet under a stable.
The underground plant, which had a full production line and could produce 3,500 cigarettes an hour, is said to be the first of its kind found in the European Union.
Daniel Dobbs, 31, was allegedly part of the gang behind the operation, which Europol said generated more than half a million pounds (635,000 euros) in criminal profits per week.
Dobbs, who is nicknamed “Dobbo” and from Malton in North Yorkshire, was sentenced to 13-and-a-half years in prison in January 2014, after he was convicted of trafficking heroin and amphetamines.
He vanished from his cell at HMP Hatfield Lakes, a category D open prison in South Yorkshire in November 2018.
The National Crime Agency (NCA) tracked him down to Spain, where he was living under a false name and he was arrested as the Spanish Civil Guard smashed an organised crime group last week.
He was held alongside 19 other people, including other Britons, as police seized more than three million cigarettes, along with 20kg of hashish, 144kg of marijuana, three weapons, and GPS tracking and jamming devices.
Access to the bunker factory in the Malaga province of southern Spain was hidden by a shipping container, reports confirmed.
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