Sunday 27 November 2022

Eight arrested as police bust illegal cigarette factory in Brabant

Part of the haul of fake brand cigarettes. Photo: Fiod.nl

Police and finance ministry inspectors have closed down an illegal cigarette factory in the Brabant town of Oirschot and arrested eight people working on the production line.

In total eight men aged 26 to 59 were arrested. They came from Lithuania, Latvia and Moldova – and the Moldovan national is staying in the Netherlands illegally, police said.

Police also found 8.9 million cigarettes, 20,000 kilos of tobacco and enough filters and other supplies to produce 20 million more.

The investigation began after officials noted unusual amounts of electricity were being used at the site. They first suspected they were dealing with a marijuana plantation because of the high power consumption and the amount of heat being generated.

If the fake brand cigarettes had come on the market, they would have cost the treasury €3.2m in lost taxes, the finance ministry officials said.

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