Dismantling of a clandestine cigarette factory in Zaragoza

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A wanted criminal falls three floors while trying to escape the cops in Seville. picture: national police

Zaragoza National Police officers dismantle a clandestine cigarette factory

Zaragoza National Police officers dismantled a clandestine cigarette factory with a production capacity of 57,600 packs a day, in an operation that resulted in 20 arrests.

The organization had four industrial buildings, one of which, located in Zaragoza, functioned as a production center. Three other facilities, used as security warehouses, were located in Zaragoza, Guadalajara and Madrid.

All the necessary machinery had been installed to carry out the two complete phases of a tobacco factory, from the reception of the sheet to the arrangement of the masters or boxes on pallets for their sale and distribution. Many materials capable of producing 2,000,000 packs of cigarettes were seized.

Investigations were opened thanks to an exchange of information between the national police and the Bulgarian police authorities. The Spanish police have learned of the existence in Spain of a criminal organization, run by Bulgarian citizens, allegedly dedicated to the smuggling of prohibited goods.

The location of their three warehouses in busy industrial areas meant that illicit activity could go virtually unnoticed on a daily basis.

Inside the Guadalajara warehouse, the police discovered the vehicles carrying out the distribution. There was a large trailer, as well as six RIBs with the leftover hashish packed away.

At the start of 2022, after the organization had completed the work of installing the machinery and refurbishing the industrial buildings, the surveillance investigators found that the people under investigation had traveled to Barcelona.

There, they arrested eight people – seven Ukrainian citizens and one Bulgarian – who were part of the workforce needed to produce cigarettes. These individuals were transferred directly inside the Zaragoza production plant, where they remained until their detention in the operation.

Last February, a large truck was detected unloading the raw material needed to manufacture cigarettes at the production center. Just 11 days later, the truck returned to the warehouse, this time to transfer the material already manufactured to the security warehouse located in another industrial area of ​​the Aragonese capital.

This truck was then followed to Madrid, specifically to an industrial area located in Humanes, where it reloaded the raw material stored there, which would again be transferred to the production warehouse in Zaragoza.

Finally, in mid-February, the leaders of the organization moved to the security warehouse in Zaragoza, where they loaded all the goods there into a new truck that they would use for final distribution. . That’s when the police jumped in, seizing the truck containing more than 120,000 cartons of cigarettes.

In total, officers seized 264,000 packets of tobacco, worth €1,320,000; 1,680 kilos of chopped tobacco, two trucks, six semi-rigid boats without engines and machinery worth €1,500,000, among other effects.

Authorities estimate that the organization had equipment to produce a total of 2,000,000 packets of cigarettes. In addition, the economic damage suffered by the Public Treasury, due to tax evasion, is estimated at more than one million euros, as reported by 20minutes.es.

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