Police break up cigarette-smuggling gang
PR dla Zagranicy
Some 25 people have been arrested in connection with an alleged cigarette-smuggling racket centred in the town of Zyradow near Warsaw.
Cigarettes seized by police. Photo: policja.pl
According to Police spokesperson Alicja Sledziona, the group's activities began in January 2012, resulting in losses to the state treasury of over 17 million zloty (4 million euro).
A resident of Zyrardow and his two sons are allegedly the key players in the racket, with cigarettes transported from Belarus, repackaged in Poland and sent on to Austria and Italy.
“The men created special hiding places in cars which were then used for smuggling the cigarettes,” Sledziona told the Polish Press Agency (PAP).
She added that the group had their own resident in Italy who cooperated with local criminals.
The leader of the gang faces up to ten years in prison for masterminding the smuggling operations, while the other members could serve between three and five years behind bars. (nh)