An organised crime group involved in the manufacturing of illegal cigarettes and drug trafficking has been caught in Spain, according to a Europol press release.
The Spanish Civil Guard (Guardia Civil) uncovered the manufacturing facility which was hidden in a bunker located four metres underground and is believed to have been operating since 2019. According to the Europol press release, workers made and packed counterfeit cigarettes in the bunker as part of a complete production line with estimated profits of EUR 625,000 (USD 674.727) per week. It is thought that workers were locked in the bunker not able to leave the facility which was fitted with beds and living quarters.
During the raid over 3 million counterfeit cigarettes, 20 kilos of hashish, 144 kilos of marijuana and 3 weapons were seized, the press release states. Europol facilitated the exchange of information provided coordination support between the countries involved (Spain, Lithuania, Poland and the United Kingdom). 20 people were arrested, amongst them an escaped prisoner from Britain, reports the BBC.