Europol says 15 people were arrested for smuggling tobacco in Poland and a large amount of cash and valuables were also seized
An investigation supported by Europol lead to the arrest of 15 suspects a large sum of cash as well as valuables in Poland.
According to a report by Europol on Monday, February 20, the criminals arrested had been earlier under investigation for drug trafficking in the Netherlands, Spain, and the United Kingdom.
A statement by the European law enforcement agency said, “Intelligence provided to the investigators by Europol revealed that the suspects were trafficking large quantities of tobacco products from Belarus to Poland”.
It said, “The proceeds of these criminal activities were laundered through cash conversion methods, property investments, the purchase of expensive luxury goods and the use of cryptocurrencies”.
Europol supported the Polish Border Guard, the Police Central Bureau of Investigation and the National Revenue Administration during the operation as over 30 searches were conducted.
Aside from the arrests, 18 people were also formally charged.
Europol said that large quantities of cash were recovered in euros, US dollars, and zlotys, Poland´s currency.
Officers also seized silver and gold bars, coins, jewellery, watches as well as seven luxury cars.
“Europol’s dissemination of intelligence packages has given investigators new insight into the criminal network”, said the statement
The statement continued, “In addition to identifying tobacco smuggling as a source of income, investigators were now able to trace the illicit profits”.
“Analysis of encrypted data intercepted from criminals’ phones also revealed locations used to hide large sums of cash”, it added.
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