OLAF Supported Strike against Illegal Cigarette Production
On 22 July 2021, OLAF reported on a successful strike against a criminal network that illegally produced and sold cigarettes. The operation dubbed “Alecrín” mainly involved Spanish and Portuguese law enforcement authorities and already started in 2019. Targeted enforcement activities were carried out between May and July 2021. They resulted in 29 arrests and the seizure of €2 million in cash. In total, 27 million cigarettes and 51 tonnes of tobacco were seized. It is estimated that the criminal gang defrauded over € 10 million from public revenue. OLAF supported the exchange of information, coordinated investigations and assisted in defining an international investigation strategy.