The Spanish police dismantled the first “underground factory” in Europe on the outskirts of Malaga, southern Spain, hidden under a horse stable, where more than 3,500 cigarettes were manufactured per hour.
The Spanish Civil Guard (corresponding to the GNR) reported yesterday in a statement that the facility was hidden under a horse stable and had "a complete production line that allowed the manufacture of more than 3,500 cigarettes an hour".
Twenty people were arrested, including one of the organization's leaders, a British citizen who was on the run from the British authorities for crimes related to drug trafficking and forgery of identity documents.
When the agents entered the clandestine factory, they found six workers inside with serious breathing difficulties, due to the cut in the power supply that distributed electricity to the facilities.
The agents also searched 13 homes and several industrial buildings, finding 153,000 packs of cigarettes, 17,600 kg of tobacco, 20 kg of hashish and 144 grams of marijuana, and dismantling an indoor plantation of this narcotic.
Access to the clandestine factory was covered by a large shipping container that was pushed by a heavy machine to allow access.
The entrance to the facility was four meters underground and accessed via a freight elevator and stairs.
Inside there were six workers of Ukrainian nationality whose contact with the outside world was "null" and who were "totally closed and abandoned to their fate", according to the Civil Guard.
The black market for cigarette packs represents “46.3 billion cigarettes in 2018” and an annual cost of “10 billion euros” for EU Member States, according to Europol.
. (tagsToTranslate) identity