Belgian customs officials have launched the largest operation to combat the production of counterfeit cigarettes in their history, attacking ten illegal sites and making at least 40 arrests.
In an industrial park in Aartselaar, officers arrested 18 men during a dawn raid on a warehouse.
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The suspects, from Eastern Europe, lived in a dilapidated dormitory inside the factory, working shifts to dry the tobacco and then pass it through cigarette rolling machines. "It is a growing phenomenon, which is present everywhere in Europe and which must be continued to fight," explains Florence Angelici, spokesperson for SPF Finances.