Cig­a­rettes con­tainer find

Wishaw Press - - FRONT PAGE -

A 58-year-old man has been charged af­ter an es­ti­mated 3.6 mil­lion sus­pected il­licit cig­a­rettes were seized by HM Rev­enue and Cus­toms ( HMRC) in the Gartcosh area.

Po­lice Scot­land ex­e­cuted a war­rant at a busi­ness ad­dress on Fri­day, June 1, and dis­cov­ered the cig­a­rettes in­side a 20-foot con­tainer.

HMRC of­fi­cers at­tended the scene and seized the cig­a­rettes, worth an es­ti­mated £1.3 mil­lion in lost duty and taxes.

A man was ar­rested by HMRC of­fi­cers and later charged in re­la­tion to the discovery.

Joe Hendry, as­sis­tant di­rec­tor, Fraud In­ves­ti­ga­tion Ser­vice, HMRC, said: “To­bacco fraud­sters are cost­ing the UK around £2.5 bil­lion a year in lost taxes.

“This is theft of money which should be go­ing to fund pub­lic ser­vices and is end­ing up in the pock­ets of criminals.

“We are dis­rupt­ing the dis­tri­bu­tion of il­licit to­bacco across the UK and lev­el­ling the play­ing field for lo­cal busi­nesses who can­not com­pete with their crim­i­nal com­peti­tors.

“We en­cour­age any­one with in­for­ma­tion about the il­le­gal sale of to­bacco to con­tact our fraud hot­line on 0800 788 887.”

De­tec­tive In­spec­tor Colin Camp­bell, Po­lice Scot­land, said: “This op­er­a­tion is an ex­cel­lent ex­am­ple of part­ner­ship work­ing, re­sult­ing in a sig­nif­i­cant seizure.

“We re­main fo­cused on tack­ling crim­i­nal­ity in our com­mu­ni­ties and we will con­tinue to work closely with our part­ners, shar­ing in­for­ma­tion and in­tel­li­gence which will lead to the de­tec­tion and dis­rup­tion of crim­i­nal ac­tiv­ity.”

Seized The cig­a­rettes were worth an es­ti­mated £1.3 mil­ion in lost du­ties and taxes

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