Alicante duo churned out 12,000 illegal cigarettes an hour

Illegal cigarette operation busted in Alicante

Illegal cigarette factory in Alicante. Credit:

Authorities have uncovered a major illegal cigarette factory that was run from a home in Alicante.

As reported by the Guardia Civil on Thursday, January 25, investigators were amazed to discover an incredible 12,000 cigarettes every hour were being produced in a home factory.

This astonishing find was located in a residential area in Busot, Alicante, where two individuals were arrested for operating a large-scale illegal cigarette production line.

Uncovering the operation

Initial suspicions were raised following a reported burglary at a residential property. Upon investigation, the Guardia Civil found an open window and stumbled upon a vast array of packaging and cigarette-making machinery. This discovery led to a more thorough search of the premises.

During this detailed search, officers uncovered 17 boxes containing 202 kilograms of tobacco and 4,368 counterfeit tobacco packs.

Also found were 3,640 boxes filled with empty tubes ready for tobacco filling, and 307 grams of marijuana.

The operation was run in a very professional manner, equipped with a machine capable of sealing tobacco packets and another high-value machine for rolling and filling cigarettes at the remarkable rate of up to 12,000 per hour.

A cross-border smuggling network

The seized goods and equipment suggest an operation that extended beyond Spain’s borders. The counterfeit products, bearing a well-known tobacco brand’s fake labels, were primarily destined for Poland and Germany.

This cross-border dimension adds layers of complexity to the case, involving multiple jurisdictions and legal frameworks.

The investigation and subsequent legal proceedings are being overseen by the Investigative Court No. 2 of San Vicente.

This case highlights the Guardia Civil’s crucial role in uncovering and dismantling operations that could have severe implications for public health, especially considering these products bypass mandatory health checks.

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.