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Expat tobacco smugglers busted in Marbella

George Mills
George Mills - [email protected]
Expat tobacco smugglers busted in Marbella
The tobacco smuggling ring was busted just in time for World No Tobacco Day on May 31st. Photo: Curran Kelleher

Two Marbella-based expats, an Irish man and a Briton, have been arrested for their part in a massive international cigarette smuggling ring.

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The two men were hauled in by Spain's Guardia Civil for their alleged participation in a €11 million ($14 million) a month tobacco smuggling operation.

They have not been named.

Ten Spaniards and a Belgian were also arrested in the international operation known as Cumpai.

In raids carried out across Spain on the eve of World No Tobacco Day on May 31st, the Guardia Civil seized more than two and a half million packets of cigarettes and €50,000 in cash.  

By doing so, they called time on an international smuggling network with its hub in Marbella but which stretched across Europe, Africa and Asia, the online news site Cordopolis reported on Thursday.

Cigarettes from Asia were smuggled into Europe via Africa and Middle East and the group had the capacity to ship at least 10 containers a month.

The main ports used by the group were Algeciras in southern Spain and Amberes in Belgium. 

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