Customs swoop on huge illegal cigarette operation

Following an ongoing customs police operation from December 2010, Slovak customs officers raided a warehouse in the town of Pezinok to discover a huge illegal cigarette producing operation.

Police have seized three cigarette-making machines and a massive volume of tobacco and ready-packed cigarettes, and have also arrested the owner of the premises, a Bulgarian national.

The facility was fully equipped to produce and pack cigarettes ready for sale. At the time of the raid some 8,754,000 cigarettes were in progress (almost 44,000 sleeves), with the material on site to produce over 6,000,000 more. The cigarettes were mostly being put in red Marlboro packs.

The culprits could face between three and eight years in jail for unlawful activities and for evading excise tax worth around EUR 1.2 million.

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