Belgian Customs, with the help of Europol’s European Financial Economic Crime Center (EFECC), raided and shut down an illegal cigarette manufacturing factory in a former pet hotel in Arlon, Belgium, according to Europol.
Belgian authorities seized the complete cigarette manufacturing machinery and arrested 14 workers, mainly from Eastern Europe. Also seized were 4 tons of tobacco and 2 million counterfeit cigarettes.
Additionally, 40 million counterfeit cigarettes were seized in trailers in an industrial area in Duffel, Belgium. These cigarettes were presumed to have been manufactured at the illegal factory in Arlon and were most likely destined for the black market in France and the U.K.
French Customs was also involved in the investigation, seizing over 25 tons of cigarettes and 16 tons of tobacco from the same organized crime group in the city of La Longueville.