Continuous increases in the price of cigarettes line the pockets of organized criminals and terrorists
Spanish police raided an underground cigarette factory operated by a British organized crime ring.
In an operation backed by Europol and law enforcement from countries like Lithuania, Poland and Britain, investigators found the underground bunker near the Costa del Sol, saving six modern slaves from Europe from the ‘Is who had been forced by the gang to work and sleep at the facility.
The factory, which had been built nearly four meters underground, was reportedly capable of producing 3,500 illicit cigarettes per hour.
Police said the workers they found at the factory were indeed “left to die” after suspects arrested above ground deactivated the system that provided them with clean air in order to hide the bunker for law enforcement officers present on the site.
A total of 20 suspected gang members suspected of being responsible for the plant were arrested in the operation, including a Briton who allegedly fled British authorities after failing to return to prison while on bail. while serving a sentence related to drug and forgery offenses.
Thirteen separate locations were raided by police as part of the operation.
These raids resulted in the seizure of over a million counterfeit cigarettes, 20kg of herbal cannabis, 144kg of marijuana, three weapons, eight GPS tracking devices and a jamming device that the network likely used to help its members avoid police attention.
Investigators said the counterfeit cigarettes made by the gang in their underground bunker were produced in unsanitary conditions and consisted of low-quality ingredients and components.
Detectives were forced to use a forklift to move a shipping container that concealed the entrance to the underground facility.
In a statement, Spain’s Guardia Civil said most of the arrested suspects were British citizens, including the alleged conspirator, 30, who was only identified by the initials DD.
Another of the detainees, identified only as AR, is said to be a Lithuanian national who was listed as having fled justice in his home country while wanted for trafficking offenses.
In a statement on its participation in the operation, Europol said: âEuropol facilitated the exchange of information between participating countries, provided coordination support and analyzed operational information against databases Europol to give leads to investigators.
âEuropol also provided on-site operational support by deploying two analysts to Malaga, Spain, to provide real-time analytical support. “