Ten tonnes of tobacco worth £5m seized

November 12, 2018

Ten tonnes of loose tobacco and more than 400,000 cigarettes were seized by Revenue and Customs officers during a raid of a commercial premises in Newry on Thursday.

The haul is worth an estimated £5m and was discovered in a search of a suspected ‘illicit tobacco factory’ by Customs officers who were accompanied by the PSNI.

Cigarette processing equipment, filters and packaging were also found on the premises and investigations into the suspected fraud are ongoing, police have said.

Steve Tracey, Assistant Director of HMRC’s fraud investigation service, said: “This is theft from the taxpayer and undermines legitimate traders.  The trade in illicit tobacco is unregulated and makes cheaper tobacco more readily available to the young and vulnerable.  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 £2.5bn a year.

 “We encourage anyone with information about the illegal sale of tobacco to report it online or call the Fraud Hotline on 0800 788 887.”