A major factory of counterfeit cigarettes dismantled in France: 9 people, aged 21 to 55, arrested

The traffic was brought to light by information, via the European Police Office (Europol), transmitted at the end of 2022 to the Rouen research section. This information reported international traffic in cigarettes in a warehouse in an industrial area of ​​Saint-Aubin-les-Elbeuf, near Rouen.

The investigators record on the spot rotations of trucks loading and unloading boxes and voluminous pallets.

On January 12, when two 38-ton trucks arrived on the scene, around sixty gendarmes invaded the factory.

Nine people, all of foreign nationality, aged 21 to 55, were arrested and placed in police custody. The majority of these people are of Moldovan nationality.

More than 100 tons of products (55 tons of cigarettes, 50 tons of labels, paper filters, packaging and 18 tons of tobacco residues and cigarette waste) were seized.

The resale price of seized counterfeit tobacco is estimated at 13.7 million euros.

On the spot, the investigators discover a real cigarette factory with a production unit comprising two lines, one for making cigarettes from raw tobacco, another dedicated to packaging in packets, then in cartridges in the name of a well-known manufacturer. .

All of the products seized were immediately destroyed, as were the production machines, the gendarmerie said.

Given the magnitude of this case, the Rouen public prosecutor’s office has relinquished its jurisdiction in favor of the national jurisdiction for the fight against organized crime (Junalco) in Paris.

The nine people arrested were presented Saturday afternoon to the Paris prosecutor’s office for the opening of a judicial investigation.

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