Customs officers seized a haul of suspected illegal ciarettes and tobacco from two shops in Long Eaton.
HM Revenue and Customs officers visited the three outlets in Long Eaton on Thursday, May 21, seizing non-UK duty paid tobacco products from two premises. This included 3,640 cigarettes, with a suspected £1,117 duty and VAT evaded, 3.35 kilos of hand-rolling tobacco, with a suspected £791 duty and VAT evaded.
Stuart Taylor, assistant director, criminal investigation for HMRC, said:“The sale of illegal tobacco and alcohol 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 billion a year, and the sale of illicit alcohol which costs the UK around £1 billion per year. This is theft from the taxpayer and undermines legitimate traders.
“We encourage anyone with information about the illegal sale of tobacco or alcohol to contact the Customs Hotline on 0800 59 5000.”
In Derby officers uncovered almost 20,000 cigarettes, nearly 10 kilos of hand-rolling tobacco and 123 litres of alcohol.
Two tobacco dogs and their handlers helped officers uncover cigarettes hidden in various parts of the shops.
Since 2000, the illicit market in cigarettes has more than halved. In the last two years, almost 3.3 billion cigarettes and over 800 tonnes of illicit hand-rolling tobacco have been seized and 593 criminals involved have been prosecuted.
All the goods have been seized and investigations are ongoing.
Anyone with information on tobacco fraud can call the 0800 59 5000.