Seven million counterfeit cigarettes seized by police in Limburg
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    Seven million counterfeit cigarettes seized by police in Limburg

    The raid took place at the request of Genk customs, as they had reason to believe that the storage cites would be protected by armed guards. Credit: Wikmedia Commons.

    Special units of the federal police seized seven million counterfeit cigarettes during a raid in Lanaken on Monday afternoon.

    Assisted by members of the Limburg Special Assistance Unit-Tactical intervention group, the special units raided two industrial sheds- one in Smeermaas and one in Gellik- in part of a major investigation into cigarette fraud.

    Having recently discovered the storage sites for the counterfeit cigarettes, Genk customs requested that police raids take place, as there was reason to believe that the storage sites would be guarded by armed men, Het Belang Van Limburg explains.

    Although the special units did not find anybody in the sheds during the raids, they discovered and seized the seven million counterfeit cigarettes, spokesperson for the Federal Public Service Finance, Customs and Excise, Francis Adyns, confirmed to Het Nieuwsblad.

    The counterfeit cigarettes were of the Superking brand, mainly consumed in the U.K.

    This is far from the first occasion that counterfeit cigarettes have been discovered stored in Lanakan. In November 2019, with the support of Europol, an illegal cigarette factory was discovered and dismantled, with several tonnes of tobacco and Richmond and Marlboro cigarettes seized at the scene.

    Evie McCullough
    The Brussels Times