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Warmia and Mazury. The Border Guard broke up a gang involved in the production and trade in counterfeit cigarettes

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Border Guard officers detained 10 people who were supposed to be selling illegal cigarettes. Members of an organized criminal group who operated mainly in Warmia and Mazury face up to five years in prison.

It all started in October last year, when an entrepreneur from Kętrzyn (Warmińsko-Mazurskie Voivodeship) was found to have cigarettes with Belarusian excise duty and counterfeit cigarettes of well-known brands. As it turned out, a woman cooperating with the entrepreneur was also to be involved in the procedure.

– The partners stored illegal goods in four towns. In total, over 700,000 cigarettes and 56 kilograms of slices worth PLN 554,000 were secured, Mirosław Aleksandrowicz, spokesman for the Warmian-Masurian Border Guard, said.

Officers from the Warmińsko-Mazurski Border Guard Unit detained 10 people who traded illegal cigarettes.  The gang operated in the Warmińsko-Mazurskie Voivodeship and part of the Podlaskie Voivodeship.  Participation in an organized criminal group is punishable by up to 5 years in prison.

Border guards uncovered illegal cigarette trade border guards

In March border guards also uncovered an illegal cigarette factory. In the utility rooms, cigarettes were produced using the home-made method. According to the guards, a resident of the district of Kętrzyn was to produce them at the request of the group’s leader.

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– The officers secured cigarettes from their own production worth PLN 4,000 and over 50 kilograms of tobacco slices worth PLN 25.5 thousand. In addition, semi-finished products for the production of tobacco products, machines for stuffing tubes and a compressor were deposited – Aleksandrowicz enumerated.

The State Treasury was to lose nearly PLN 4.8 million

The activities of the Border Guard led to the determination that as many as 10 people may be involved in the illegal trade and manufacture of cigarettes. As Aleksandrowicz reported, the leader of the group and his accomplice were arrested twice in the investigation. It was established that the man recruited more people, including from Podlasie, to buy, manufacture, transport and sell counterfeit cigarettes.

The man was charged with leading an organized criminal group. In addition, the 42-year-old will be responsible for the acquisition, storage, transport, commissioning the production of illegal cigarettes and sale. According to the Border Guard, it exposed the State Treasury to losses of nearly PLN 4.8 million. He faces up to 10 years in prison.

– A 47-year-old partner and a 39-year-old man from the district of Kętrzyn and a 27-year-old woman from Łomża heard allegations of participation in an organized criminal group. Other people aged 31-50, residents of the following districts: Kętrzyn, Bartoszycki, Giżycki, Braniewo and Olsztyn, heard allegations of purchasing and further distribution of tobacco products without applicable excise tax stamps – informed the spokeswoman of the Border Guard.

Two people were arrested for two months. The rest have been placed under police surveillance, paid bail and are banned from leaving the country. 57.5 thousand were secured against future penalties. PLN, EUR 635 and three vehicles worth PLN 122,000. zloty

Participation in an organized criminal group is punishable by up to five years in prison, and the production and trade in illegal cigarettes is punishable by a high fine.

Main photo source: border guards

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