Dismantled a clandestine tobacco factory destined for various European countries

In the registry of the clandestine factory, 49,680 boxes prepared for shipment, 180 kg of chopped tobacco leaf, filters, cardboard, glue and other material necessary for production were seized

In the operation 7 people have been arrested, all of them of Polish and Lithuanian nationality

It has had the collaboration of EUROPOL, the Lithuanian and Polish police and the French Customs Services

The Civil Guard and the Tax Agency have carried out the Karuna operation, dismantling a criminal organization made up of Lithuanian and Polish citizens dedicated to the clandestine manufacture of various tobacco brands and their illicit commercialization in several countries of the European Union.

During the development of the operation, two entries and records were made at the facilities of a farm in the town of Les Borges Blankues (Lleida), where the clandestine tobacco factory was located, and at an address in the town of Mataró (Barcelona) .

Likewise, 7 people have been arrested, the head of the criminal organization in Mataró (Barcelona), the head of security in La Junquera when he was about to leave the country, two workers at the factory facilities and three transporters, all of them nationals Lithuanian and Polish.

Likewise, 72,640 euros were intervened, presumably from the sale of processed production.

The investigation began at the end of last year, when Europol, through the usual channels of collaboration, reported the existence of an international criminal organization operating in the area of ​​Catalonia, manufacturing large quantities of packs of tobacco that were placed on the market. European illegal, mainly Spanish and French.

As a result of the investigations, several interventions were carried out in different smuggling transports of already manufactured tobacco. In the first of them, carried out by French customs, 450 boxes of tobacco with 243,000 packs were seized, which were transported in a truck that intended to enter France, and the driver of Polish nationality was arrested.

In another intervention, on July 19, in the course of an operation carried out on this occasion by the Economic Crime Group of the Central Operational Unit of the Civil Guard, another truck was intervened in the town of Canfranc (Huesca) when He was heading towards the border with France, seizing another 80 boxes with 43,200 counterfeit tobacco packs, arresting two carriers of Lithuanian nationality.

Once the origin of the smuggled tobacco was verified and having fully identified the main persons in charge of the international criminal organization and the roles that each one of them played within the organization, a joint operation of the Civil Guard with Customs Surveillance was developed, materializing the phase exploitation of the operation.

In the search carried out in the disused buildings of an old farm in the town of Les Borges Blankues (Lleida), a clandestine tobacco factory was found whose production line is estimated to have the capacity to manufacture 9,000 cigarettes per hour. In the registry, 92 tobacco boxes were seized containing 49,680 packages prepared for shipment, 180 kg of chopped tobacco leaf, filters, cardboard, glue and other material necessary for production.

The facilities had rooms with the capacity to accommodate 14 workers, necessary for the operation of the clandestine factory and which were divided into two work shifts to maintain production 24 hours a day.

The investigations carried out by the Economic Crime Group of the Central Operative Unit of the Civil Guard and the Lleida Command of the same Corps, have counted in the exploitation phase with the support of several Units of the Barcelona Command and agents of Customs Surveillance, in addition to different intervention units of the Civil Guard, such as the Reserve and Security Group and the Barcelona Citizen Security Unit, under the direction of the Court of Instruction No. 2 of Lleida, which has decreed prison for the detainees .

Likewise, there has been the collaboration of EUROPOL, the Lithuanian and Polish police and the French Customs Service.

For more information, you can contact the Communication Office of the Central Operating Unit (UCO) at 915.031.327.

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