Millions of fake cigarettes seized

A tiny portion of the seized cigarettes Credit: Guardia Civil

Although tobacco was known and smoked in the Americas for time immemorial, it was Christopher Columbus who brought it to Spain from Cuba.

Since that time it has spread across the rest of the world, has been condemned by the medical profession, pounced upon by smugglers and generates tax money for Governments.

Guardia Civil swoop

Although the price of tobacco and cigarettes in Spain is relatively low when compared to other parts of Europe, there is an ongoing fight between offices of the law and crooks and the Guardia Civil have just announced the arrest of 20 people.

It is alleged that those arrested were involved in the production and distribution of counterfeit cigarettes and a total of six million counterfeit cigarettes, as well as 33 tons of tobacco with an estimated value of €7.6 million have been seized.

There were two clandestine factories operating, one in Lucena (Cordoba) and the other in Humanes de Madrid and the Lucena operation was almost impossible to find with no less than 11 Bulgarians locked inside and living in the factory.

In order to be able to smuggle the counterfeit cigarettes to their main markets of France and Portugal there was also a selection of false packaging in order for it to appear that the packs were genuine and represented the most popular brands.

Investigation continues

The investigation which stretches as far Ukraine via different international agencies continues.

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Written by

John Smith

Married to Ophelia in Gibraltar in 1978, John has spent much of his life travelling on security print and minting business and visited every continent except Antarctica. Having retired several years ago, the couple moved to their house in Estepona and John became a regular news writer for the EWN Media Group taking particular interest in Finance, Gibraltar and Costa del Sol Social Scene. Currently he is acting as Editorial Consultant for the paper helping to shape its future development. Share your story with us by emailing, by calling +34 951 38 61 61 or by messaging our Facebook page