A joint operation involving Spain's National Police force and the country's tax agency has led to the dismantling of an illegal tobacco factory in Andalucía with a production capacity of one million cigarettes a day.
Twelve people were arrested in the raids, including Spanish, Ukrainian and Belarusian workers at the illegal cigarette manufacturing plant Marchena (Seville) which had a support network in the towns of Écija and Bormujos (also Seville province) as well as in Lucena (Córdoba).
More than 45,000 packs of cigarettes were discovered and 10,320 kilogrammes of tobacco leaf were seized, along with various machinery, a lorry, van, two high-end cars, mobile phones, documentation and computer media, with an approximate value of 1.5 million euros.
Police say organisation was run from a luxury villa located in the town of Bormujos but the Eastern European workers were forced to live crammed into a single room without windows inside the Marchena warehouse without being allowed to go outside.
According to sources, during the dawn raids on 16 December, one of the warehouses was set on fire "by several unknown individuals, presumably in an attempt to make the tobacco that was kept inside disappear."