Fl­le­gal cigs stubbed out

Glossop Advertiser - - News - John Scheerhout

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TWO mil­lion il­le­gal cig­a­rettes have been seized across the north west as part of a crack­down by cus­toms of­fi­cials.

The con­tra­band was dis­cov­ered dur­ing two days of raids at 82 shops and lock-ups across Greater Manch­ester and sur­round­ing ar­eas last week. Il­licit goods were dis­cov­ered at 26 of the premises vis­ited.

Of­fi­cials seized 1,815,960 cig­a­rettes and 83.3 ki­los of hand-rolling to­bacco – on which an es­ti­mated £474,000 had not been paid in VAT and du­ties.

About 120 of­fi­cers from HM Rev­enue and Cus­toms (HMRC), with sup­port from trad­ing stan­dards, po­lice, and Bri­tish (Pic­ture posed by model) Gas were in­volved in the op­er­a­tion on June 28 and 29.

San­dra Smith, as­sis­tant di­rec­tor of fraud in­ves­ti­ga­tion at the HMRC, said: “The sale of il­le­gal to­bacco will not be tol­er­ated by us or our part­ner agen­cies.

“Dis­rupt­ing crim­i­nal trade is at the heart of our strat­egy to clam­p­down on the il­licit to­bacco mar­ket, which costs the UK around £2.4bn a year.”

Cus­toms of­fi­cials have seized two mil­lion il­le­gal cig­a­rettes

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