Armenian gang busted in France over counterfeit cigarettes – Used winning lottery tickets to launder profits

By Gangsters Inc. Editors

Eleven alleged members of an Armenian organized crime group involved in the large-scale import and distribution of counterfeit cigarettes were arrested by French authorities with the support of Europol.

Over 40 judicial customs investigators, with the support of special intervention teams of the French National Police (RAID) and two Europol experts deployed on the ground on March 15 and simultaneously searched 13 sites, including industrial premises as well as private residences, in and around the city of Lyon.

Winning lottery tickets

In addition to the arrests, over 2.5 tons of counterfeit cigarettes were seized, worth about 1,250,000 euros in France, alongside 100,000 euros in cash and 150,000 euros in winning lottery tickets bought by the criminals to launder the profits. Four guns and many types of ammunition were seized.

10252106692?profile=RESIZE_710xThe French investigators have since then been able to uncover that the counterfeit cigarettes were imported from different European countries, before being stored in warehouses located in industrial areas and then sold on the black market in several French cities.

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