OVER FIFTY THOUSAND packets of smuggled cigarettes with a value of €223,184 have been seized by the Guardia Civil in the regions of l’Alt Urgell (Lleida). The cigarettes were secretly stashed in a motorhome which was being used as a shuttle for the contraband.
The Guardia Civil have arrested five people and along with the cigarettes confiscated 4,525 packets of tobacco, €6820 in cash, two long hunting weapons, several fake license plates and also a fleet of five vehicles used to transport the goods.
The five people arrested are of Spanish nationality and resident in the provinces of Lleida and Tarragona. They have been charged with smuggling offenses against public health, membership of a criminal group, disobedience, reckless driving and possession of fake license plates.
A surveillance operation tracked the criminals and recording their whereabouts with the use of undercover policemen and remote monitoring devices. Police concluded their investigations in a dramatic high speed chase with the driver of the motorhome for several kilometers.
Later, police raided a nearby farm located in the region of l’Alt Urgell, where 520 grams of marijuana and 21.75 grams of cocaine along with the cash and the weapons were seized.
The arrested parties will all be appearing in the local Magistrates court in La Seu d’Urgell (Lleida).
More than 6 million packs of illegal tobacco products were seized in 2015.