Illegal cigar factories made 200 million euros in four months
The Civil Guard, within the frame-work of Operation Pastela, has dis-mantled a criminal organisation, made up of 27 people, who produced large quantities of tobacco for cigars in different warehouses scattered throughout Spain for export to European countries.
The 27 detainees come from Eastern European countries and have ages between 29 and 62 years. They are accused of reckless homi-cide, against public finances, contraband, criminal organi-sation, the sale and distribution of tobacco products interna-tionally and hiding their profits through tax fraud.
The investigation began in September of last year after a fire broke out in a warehouse in the industrial area of Manzanares (Ciudad Real), which left 16 people injured and two dead.
The ocular inspection of the building uncovered a large quantity of chopped tobacco and industrial machinery, as well as an area created as a dwelling for the workers who worked there.
The tobacco production, processing and distribution phases were carried out in the warehouse for later transfer to other European countries such as England, Italy and Russia.
Operators would work for about one month, thus not raising suspicions since none of them had a visa to work and had entered Spain as tourists.
The investigators inter-cepted a truck when it left one of the warehouse found numerous pallets of counterfeit tobacco, already prepared for distribution and sale, hidden behind two other unloaded pallets.
It is estimated that this factory would have had a production capacity of 200 million euros during the four months of its activity, with a daily production capacity of 1,200,000 euros.