Two men from Manchester have been arrested in connection with over £1.1 million of counterfeit goods and cocaine seized during a multi-agency operation in Manchester on Tuesday (20 May).
HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) investigators, accompanied by officers from Trading Standards and the Greater Manchester Police (GMP), searched one private and three business addresses and a vehicle in the Cheetham Hill area. HMRC arrested a man and seized 280,000 illicit cigarettes and 129 kilos of tobacco, worth an estimated £116,000 in excise duty. Officers from Trading Standards and GMP seized counterfeit goods valued at around £1 million and a significant quantity of Class A drugs.
Sandra Smith, Assistant Director, Criminal Investigation, HMRC, said:
“The success of multi-agency working is crucial to tackling the problem of criminality in our communities. We are in difficult times for businesses economically and it is impossible for legitimate traders to compete on an unfair playing field. We owe it to them to support them in any way we can.”
Detective Sergeant Shagufta Khan, from Greater Manchester Police, said:
“This is an excellent result and a great example of partnership working between the police, HMRC and Trading Standards. This result sends out a message that we will not let people profit from spreading their misery in our neighbourhoods and we will continue to use all the powers and resources available to put people before the courts.
“A significant amount of Class A drugs were recovered, along with cutting agents and a large amount of cash. A 31 year-old man was charged on suspicion of possession of Class A drugs with intent to supply and money laundering.”
The men were questioned by HMRC and GMP and investigations into the seizures are continuing.
Notes for editors
1. HMRC seized a vehicle, 283,780 illicit cigarettes and 129 kilos of counterfeit tobacco.
2. HMRC’s Flickr channel: www.flickr.com/hmrcgovuk
3. Follow HMRC on Twitter at @hmrcgovuk
Issued by HM Revenue & Customs Press Office
HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is the UK’s tax authority.
HMRC is responsible for making sure that the money is available to fund the UK’s public services and for helping families and individuals with targeted financial support.