February 2, 2023

Athens News

News in English from Greece

Ukrainian refugees in Spain were used in clandestine tobacco factories

Spanish law enforcement officers neutralized a criminal group that closed Ukrainian refugees in clandestine factories and forced them to work in inhuman conditions. This is stated on January 21 in a message from the Spanish police.

Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia reported that the Civil Guard detained 27 people as part of an operation on the case of the use of Ukrainian refugees in illegal production and smuggling of tobacco. According to the newspaper, immigrants were forced to work in conditions far from all local rules and regulations.

Three clandestine tobacco factories are located in the cities of Alfaro (La Rioja), Los Corrales (Seville) and Enquera (Valencia). During the police operation, 27 people were arrested, 10 tons of raw tobacco and 3.5 million packs of cigarettes worth €37.5 million were confiscated.

At the same time, as the newspaper emphasizes, the people detained during the raid, apparently, illegally used the labor of Ukrainian refugees. To avoid being discovered, the refugees were not allowed to leave the factory grounds and had to work under the most difficult conditions, police said. At the same time, their working hours did not meet any standards.

Tobacco for the production of cigarettes, according to police, was smuggled in, and the factories were able to produce more than half a million packs a day. The products were sold both in Spain and in other countries.

In addition to tobacco and cigarettes, the police seized luxury cars, jewelry and large amounts of cash found from the organizers of this network. According to the police, they lived a luxurious life in the resort of Marbella.

According to the UN, almost eight million refugees from Ukraine were registered in Europe during the war, more than 160,000 of them reached Spain.

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