According to the report of the Police Department, during the international operation, 12 suspects were arrested in Lithuania, Belgium, France, Norway, and Spain, including the leader and most active members of an organized criminal group.
Officers of the Lithuanian Criminal Police Bureau and the Lithuanian Police Anti-Terrorist Operations Unit “ARAS” conducted 12 searches in the residences and auxiliary premises and cars of the aforementioned suspects in Lithuania. Tens of thousands of euros in cash, narcotic substances and other items prohibited in civil circulation were found and seized during the search.
During the investigation, it was established that a citizen of the Republic of Lithuania formed a criminal group, which, under his leadership, organized the smuggling of narcotic and psychotropic substances (cocaine, hashish, marijuana) in very large quantities from the Kingdom of Spain, Africa, South American countries and further trade in European countries (including in the Republic of Lithuania), and also carried out the legalization of illegal monetary funds.
The received funds were legalized by investing in real estate and business in Lithuania and foreign countries. An organized criminal group in the Kingdom of Belgium actively carried out illegal production of tobacco products and sold them to European countries in very large quantities. Members of the group used sea, air and land transport to transport narcotics.
In the spring of 2020, Lithuanian citizens were detained in the city of Malaga in the Kingdom of Spain with 210 pcs. cans of tomatoes, which contained narcotic substances – hashish, with a total weight of 207 kg.
Several individuals have already been convicted of this crime in the Kingdom of Spain.
Also, in the spring of 2021, a tow truck driven by a citizen of the Republic of Lithuania was detained in the Kingdom of Spain.
200 kg of narcotic substance – marijuana, was found and seized. A person in the Kingdom of Spain has also been convicted of this crime. The main organizers of the aforementioned crimes are members of an organized crime group that has just been crushed internationally, and only the perpetrators have been arrested and convicted in Spain.
Operation in European countries
11 suspects were arrested in Belgium, France, Norway and Spain.
The Republic of Lithuania has issued European arrest warrants for four of them.
During the operation in the Kingdom of Belgium, more than 100 Customs, Police and special forces officers participated, dozens of searches were conducted in residences, warehouses, companies, and cars. During the searches, with the participation of the officers of the Lithuanian Criminal Police Bureau, two fully equipped and operating illegal cigarette manufacturing factories were neutralized in Belgium, and during the searches, more than 48 million cigarettes produced and intended for sale were removed from illegal circulation. units of cigarettes and 32 tons of prepared tobacco.
It was established that, during the international operation, about 150 million euros were removed from illegal circulation in the European Union states. Marlboro, Winston, Richmond and Lambert&Butler cigarettes produced and intended for sale. If this amount of production is realized, more than 76 million would be made for the Belgian state. EUR damage.
It is known that the organized group invested illegally obtained income in certain businesses and real estate in the Republic of Lithuania. After successful cooperation between Lithuanian, French, Italian, Monaco and Europol officials, the leader of an organized criminal group – a citizen of the Republic of Lithuania, for whom Lithuania has issued a European arrest warrant – was arrested in France.
The most severe punishment that can threaten members of an organized group is imprisonment for up to 15 years. The pre-trial investigation is organized and controlled by prosecutors of the Organized Crime and Corruption Investigation Department of the General Prosecutor’s Office, who have extensive experience in such cases.