Five clandestine cigarette factories dismantled in Andalucia

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These five factories were capable of producing two million units per day

An international operation carried out by the National Police and the Tax Agency, in collaboration with the European Anti-Fraud Office, the UK Customs Service, and the Italian Guardia di Finanza, has resulted in five clandestine cigarette factories being dismantled in Andalucia.
These five facilities were capable of potentially producing around 2 million units each day. Raids in the provinces of Malaga, Cadiz, Jaen, and Sevilla, also uncovered and neutralized two marijuana plantations.
Eight individuals, of Spanish, Ukrainian, and Moldovan nationalities were arrested in the raids. They have been charged with being alleged members of a criminal organization that distributed tobacco and narcotic substances nationally, and internationally.

Investigations began in mid-2021 after the police learned of the arrival of a lorry in Spain that had traveled from Eastern Europe, transporting effects intended for the illegal manufacture of tobacco products.

It contained machines and parts for the assembly of a cigarette production plant. Officers verified that the vehicle made frequent trips, and always went to the same places: Villacarrillo in Jaen, Carmona in Sevilla, and to the Cadiz towns of Medina Sidonia, and Jerez de la Frontera.

Surveillance work made it possible to detect the vehicle’s movements between 18 different places, specifically three homes, and 15 industrial buildings of different types, that were linked to each other.

Permissions were granted to enter and search the homes and industrial warehouses. During these searches, the eight people were arrested, three of them as alleged leaders of the organization, and five as collaborators and members of it.
Investigators verified that there were two complete factories ready to produce tobacco in Medina Sidonia, and in the Seville town of Utrera. They were equipped with all the necessary machinery for its packing and packaging.
All the necessary infrastructure to house workers on a permanent basis was also present. Three other sites located in Carmona in Antequera, and Chilluevar in Jaen, were equipped with the necessary machinery to process the tobacco leaves, and provide the others with the processed material.

Among the items seized was a recuperator, which the police said is a machine of great sophistication and very innovative in the history of tobacco factories dismantled to date. This machinery allows the recovery of tobacco waste from manufacturing itself, to produce a new product.

Officers seized a total of 4,600kg of cut tobacco, 400 kilos of strips (chopped and treated leaf), 573 packs of tobacco of different brands, a lorry, €2,335 in cash, a simulated weapon, two firearms, ammunition, and various materials used for the manufacture, packaging, and storage of tobacco.

It is estimated that the organization would have allocated at least €2 million of investment to start up the production chain, as reported by laopiniondemalaga.es .

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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]

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