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UNITED KINGDOM

Tonnes of illicit tobacco seized in Northern Ireland

13 Nov 2018. Police and customs authorities seized around ten tonnes of loose tobacco and 411,000 illicit cigarettes from a commercial premises in the Newry area in Northern Ireland, the Belfast Telegraph reported.

HM Revenue and Customs officers together with police made the seizure after searching the site of a suspected illicit tobacco factory close to Newry, located near the border with the Republic of Ireland.

The cigarettes and tobacco was thought to be worth GBP 5 million in lost taxes and duties, the newspaper 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 £2.5 billion a year”, Steve Tracey, assistant director of the HMRC fraud investigation service, was quoted as saying.