Tax ministry inspectors and police have closed down an illegal cigarette factory on a remote farmhouse in Gelderland, arresting 13 people from eastern Europe in the process.
The raid netted boxes containing 3.6 million cigarettes, 32 tonnes of tobacco, packaging material, filters and glue. Officials say the factory was capable of producing one million cigarettes a day.
The factory, one of 20 major operations discovered in recent years, was particularly noteworthy because it involved the complete production line – from leaf tobacco to finished cigarette. Illegal factories usually only tackle part of the production process to minimise risk.
Europol and other international organisations were also involved in the investigation and officials say the network behind the factory is their next target.
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