Three arrests after eight million cigarettes seized


Officers from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) attended a property in Newry on Saturday morning along with colleagues from the PSNIImage copyright
HMRC

Image caption

Officers from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) attended a property in Newry on Saturday morning along with colleagues from the PSNI

Three men have been arrested and eight million suspected illicit cigarettes seized during an operation in County Armagh.

Officers from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) attended a property in Newry on Saturday morning along with colleagues from the PSNI.

The arrests and seizures were made at the scene.

HMRC said the tobacco products are worth an estimated £3m in lost taxes and duties.

A heavy goods vehicle and its refrigerated unit, a van and a fork lift truck were also seized along with approximately £12,000 and €2,000.

HMRC said the operation led to a further eight searches across the border carried out by Ireland’s Revenue Commissioners and An Garda Síochána, with almost €100,000, thousands of duty stamps and approximately two and a half tonnes of hand rolling tobacco being confiscated.

Image copyright
HMRC

Image caption

Three men were arrested and eight million suspected illicit cigarettes seized during the operation

Steve Tracey, HMRC’s assistant director, Fraud Investigation Service, said investigations like this show “what can be achieved by our ongoing cross-jurisdictional cooperation to tackle criminality”.

“Our collaboration, even during a global pandemic, demonstrates that we are committed to working with each other, at every level and in every location to tackle organised crime on a cross border basis.”

PSNI Det Supt Rowan Moore said those trading in illicit cigarettes “may be funding terrorism and criminality”.

“[This] brings misery and harm to local communities and today’s action sends a powerful message to those engaged in this type of criminality.”



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