Members of an international organized crime group were detained

Border Guard Unit detained five Polish citizens, members of an international organized crime group that smuggled tobacco products from Ukraine to Poland and to Western European countries.

During the operations, the officers also searched several properties where they disclosed and secured property (funds and vehicles) with a total value of PLN 1.8 million. This is the next stage of the investigation in which 51 members of this group have been arrested so far.

The material collected in the case allowed the prosecutor from the Lublin Branch for Organized Crime and Corruption of the National Prosecutor’s Office to present to the detained persons the accusations of participation in an organized criminal group and cigarette smuggling without Polish excise tax stamps.

The Group operated from June 2013 to December 2018 in the Lublin Province and Ukraine. The members of the group from Ukraine to Poland smuggled excise goods through the Bug River. Then the goods, after having accumulated appropriate quantities, were packed into vehicles and shipped to various places in the country and abroad.

The perpetrators imported, purchased, stored and transported excise goods in the form of at least 5 million packets of cigarettes not marked with Polish excise tax stamps and without a customs declaration, thus exposing the State Treasury to customs and tax depletion in the total amount of approximately PLN 70 million.

The two detainees were temporarily arrested by the court for a period of three months. In relation to the remaining ones, preventive measures in the form of a property guarantee were applied.

Suspects face a penalty of up to 10 years imprisonment.