The gendarmes found more than 6,700 cartons of cigarettes, with an estimated market value of 750,000 euros.
This is the illustration of a basic trend, according to the investigators: the mass arrival of counterfeit cigarettes within the European Union itself and resold in France under the coat. The research section of the Paris gendarmerie arrested, Thursday, March 16, two men of Polish nationality residing in Val-de-Marne. They are believed to be respectively “the organizer” traffic and “the delivery guy”within an organization which has not yet revealed all its secrets.
The first information received by the gendarmes is recent. It dates back to the end of February and relates to the organization of an underground cigarette market in the suburbs of Paris. “Twenty deliveries, via a truck from Poland, at the rate of a hundred boxes per trip” are then observed, relates to France Télévisions a source of the investigation. The gendarmes finally intervene in an underground car park in the town of Orly (Val-de-Marne), when the goods have just been transferred to vans.
Nearly 45,000 euros in cash
The packets of cigarettes, bearing the logo of a famous firm, but without mention of the name of the manufacturer, are apparently leaving for the greater Parisian crown, the Center region and the west of France. With a well-established operating mode, initiated by the “go fast”, these drug transport convoys: first an opening car, to ensure that there is no roadblock on the route, then the vehicle carrier.
During the operation, more than 6,700 cartons of cigarettes were seized, according to the gendarmerie, for an estimated market value of 750,000 euros. Nearly 45,000 euros in cash were also discovered. The two men, one of whom is already known for tobacco trafficking, were brought to the Créteil prosecutor’s office yesterday and were to be tried in an immediate appearance.
Last January, the research section of the Rouen gendarmerie had dismantled a clandestine cigarette manufacturing factory, located in an industrial area of Saint-Aubin-lès-Elbeuf (Seine-Maritime).