TWENTY people have been arrested after police located and raided an underground tobacco factory on the Costa de Sol.

Six people of Ukrainian nationality were found trapped inside the Malaga based factory with serious breathing difficulties after their air supply was cut by police unaware of their existence.

The ‘workers’ were found to have been living in unsanitary conditions when the entrance to the factory was finally located, abandoned to their fate as the arrested members of the criminal organisation failed to tell police they were trapped.

The facility near Coin, the first to be found in Europe, was hidden under horse stables and had a complete production line that allowed the manufacture of more than 3,500 cigarettes per hour.

The raid and subsequent searches of houses and warehouses found 153,000 packets of tobacco ready for sale, 17,600 kilograms of tobacco pouches, 20 kilograms of hashish and 144kg of marijuana.

The 20 arrested were mainly of British nationality, one of the leaders of the organisation, 30-year-old Daniel Doobs was fleeing the British authorities for crimes related to drug trafficking and forgery of identity document.

The operation was carried out by the Guardia Civil with multi agency support from EUROPOL, the Economic Crime Group of the Central Operating Unit (UCO) and British security forces due to international operation.

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