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Authorities seize nearly 5 mil illicit cigs

29 Jan 2019. The British paramilitary crime task force has seized a total of 4,886,580 cigarettes and 695.93 kilogrammes of hand-rolling tobacco (HRT) worth an estimated GBP 1,896,797 (EUR 2,170,180) in lost tax in Banbridge, Carryduff and Ballyclare, Belfast Telegraph reported.

The illegal tobacco products were found during searches through businesses, shops and one home on 25 January, according to the report. Also, GBP 21,640 in cash was confiscated under the Proceeds of Crime Act and one person was arrested during the raids, who was later released, the authorities said.

Bobby Singleton, detective superintendent, commented on the illicit tobacco products seizure, saying: “Retailers who stock and sell illicit cigarettes to the public should think carefully about the potential implications upon conviction.

“They and customers who knowingly purchase illicit cigarettes should also be aware that they may be indirectly funding terrorism and criminality which brings misery and harm to local communities, all for their own selfish gains.”