Three illegal cigarette factories closed in Madrid and Costa Blanca

Examining the evidence
Examining the evidence at one of the factories Credit: Guardia Civil

A COMBINED operation between the Guardia Civil, National Police and Spanish Tax Agency saw raids at three illegal cigarette factories and the seizure of 43 tons of tobacco, almost 1.5 million packs of cigarettes and large amounts of machinery.

The factories which were based in Madrid, Murcia and Alicante were controlled by a Bulgarian gang and the value of the material recovered by this action is said to be €9 million with 14 different brands of cigarette being counterfeited.

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A total of 38 different people of various nationalities including several Ukrainians were arrested during this operation and apart from machinery capable of producing 189,000 cigarettes a minute, officers also discovered a number of lorries already loaded with cartons ready to be distributed throughout Spain and much of Europe.

Four of the fake cigarette brands being produced, Fortuna, Winston, L & M and Chesterfield are particularly popular in Spain and the Tax Agency will have lost huge amounts of VAT and duty from their sale.


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