Dismantled an international criminal organization dedicated to the manufacture and distribution of illegal tobacco

125 searches made in Spain and Portugal, 29 arrests and more than 2,000,000 euros in cash have been intervened

Estimated tax fraud in both countries amounts to more than 10 million euros

An illicit tobacco production factory has been dismantled in the town of Manzanares (Ciudad Real), intervening more than 15,000,000 cigarettes and 50 tons of tobacco

The Civil Guard, within the framework of international cooperation, has developed a joint operation called ALECRÍN. The investigation, carried out by components of the Central Operational Unit (UCO) of the Civil Guard and the Fiscal Action Unit (UAF) of the National Republican Guard of Portugal, has achieved the dismantling of an international criminal organization dedicated to the illicit production of cigarettes and their subsequent distribution, as well as money laundering of the profits obtained.

The actions have been carried out in different provinces of Spain and in Portuguese territory between May 22 and July 16, among which stand out the practice of 125 searches carried out in both countries, 29 people detained, more than 2 million euros in cash, as well as the seizure of 51 tons of tobacco leaf and around 2,000,000 packs (valued at 9.5 million euros), light and heavy vehicles, 7 firearms and various machinery and precursors for the manufacture of cigarettes. Estimated tax fraud in both countries amounts to more than 10 million euros.
The operation was carried out by both bodies since 2019, with the decisive coordination of OLAF and EUROJUST, which established at an international level a channel of cooperation with other foreign police forces, among which the Romanian Border Police, the Slovak COFA stand out. and Border Police of Ukraine.
At the national level, under the direction of the Court of Instruction No. 2 of Padrón (Coruña), the Central Operative Unit (UCO) of the Civil Guard, with the support of the Comandancias de Pontevedra, Coruña, Sevilla, Córdoba, Ciudad Real with the different Organic Units of the Judicial Police, USECIC, Fiscal Units and Citizen Security, carried out a total of 27 arrests and 28 searches, and 1,100,000 euros in cash hidden in bundles, various vehicles and computer media were intervened. A factory for the illicit production of cigarettes was dismantled with an active production line and a second line in the assembly process, in the town of Manzanares (Ciudad Real). In total, 1.1 million euros were seized, more than 15 million cigarettes and 50.5 tons of tobacco.
In Portugal, the Fiscal Action Unit (UAF) of the Republican National Guard carried out 2 arrests, 97 searches, and 758,000 euros were seized hidden in bundles along with large quantities of tobacco, vehicles and computer devices. During the investigation, a total of 12 million cigarettes and 600 kg of tobacco products (leaf and sting) were intervened, with 9 arrests of individuals directly related to the illicit activity.
The marked international character of the organization is reflected in the nationality of those investigated, originating from Spain, Portugal, Bulgaria and Ukraine, which shows the great infrastructure that the organization had.
The Judicial Authority has decreed imprisonment without bail for 9 of the detainees (the main culprits) and the assets that are allegedly acquired or linked to the illicit activity have been blocked.


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