Four people have been arrested who had hidden in a warehouse in the Badajo town of Lobón 53 tons of smuggled tobacco leaves and flavoring substances used to treat tobacco.
María Gámez, Director General of the Guardia Civil, stressed that it is one of the largest operations carried out in Extremadura against smuggling and illicit sale of tobacco leaves and cuttings.
“With this type of criminal action, not only is there a damage to the public finances necessary for our maintenance as a country, but it also avoids the risk to health because these products do not have any sanitary guarantee.”
Finally, Gámez added that the Guardia Civil works intensely to control smuggling, proof of this is the apprehension at the national level of more than 3,500,000 packs of smuggled tobacco. Also, so far in 2020 more than 5,500,000 packs of tobacco have been intervened.
The investigation began after detecting the illicit circulation and sale of smuggled snuff, in which similar patterns were found, linked to the movements of a group of people settled in the province of Badajoz and Madrid, with antecedents for similar events.
After establishing a surveillance device, the agents discovered in Lobón a warehouse used by the group, where the chopped tobacco and leaf were stored, which supposedly would be destined for its illegal sale and conversion of this product with flavorings into “tube cigarettes”.
With the location of the property in the industrial area of the municipality and the identity of the owner of the same, who had the rented warehouse, the registry of this was carried out, where 265 cardboard boxes containing 53,100 kilos of shredded tobacco leaf were seized and picada, which lacked any fiscal and health control, as well as flavoring products for tobacco.
During the exploitation of the operation, four of the members of the network were arrested, and efforts are continuing to locate and arrest the other two who allegedly have fled Spain, as well as to know the origin and exact destination of the seized tobacco , of which some 38 million cigarettes could be obtained.
Those now detained, who were placed at the disposal of the Montijo Investigating Court, are charged with the alleged crimes of tobacco smuggling, against the Public Treasury and belonging to an organized group.
The operation has been carried out by agents belonging to the Fiscal Area of the Badajoz Guardia Civil Post, by Customs Surveillance officials of the Badajoz State Tax Administration Agency and by members of the Merida Local Police.