Police bust one-million-a-day illegal cigarette factory

Michał Walczak/PAP

The Central Investigation Bureau (CBSP) has shut down a counterfeit cigarette production facility in south western Poland that could turn out up to a million cigarettes a day.

Pawel Biskupik, acting spokesperson for a local border guard unit, told PAP that the joint operation with the CBSP took place in mid-March.

"An organised crime group consisting of four persons illegally manufactured cigarettes in an abandoned farm," Biskupik said. "All of them were caught red-handed, when they were unloading semi-finished products at the property."

Justyna Pasieczynska, spokesperson for the National Tax Administration, said that the suspects had installed a production line in the farm buildings that could turn out a million cigarettes a day.

Pasieczynska said officers had secured close to nine million cigarettes at the facility and more than 9.5 tonnes of cut tobacco.

"The value of seized goods was estimated at more than PLN 8.5 million (EUR 1.81 million)," she said. "Semi-finished products and machines were worth over EUR 1.5 million (EUR 320,000)."

The suspects are facing prison sentences of up to eight years. 

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