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Four arrested in suspected tobacco smuggling fraud

Press Release   •   Dec 04, 2015 11:09 GMT

Three men and a woman have been arrested by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) in connection with an investigation into a suspected £500,000 tobacco smuggling fraud.

HMRC, accompanied by officers from Norfolk Police, Immigration Enforcementand Trading Standards, searched three business addresses, two private addresses and a storage unit in the Great Yarmouth area yesterday morning (3 December 2015).

Paul Barton, Assistant Director, Fraud Investigation Service, HMRC, said:

“The smuggling, transport, storage or sale of illegal tobacco will not be tolerated by HMRC. Disrupting criminal trade is at the heart of our strategy to clampdown on the illicit tobacco market, which costs UK taxpayers around £2.1 billion a year.

“We encourage anyone with information about suspicious tobacco or cigarette products to contact the Customs Hotline on 0800 59 5000.”

As part of the operation officers seized 150,000 illicit cigarettes and a quantity of hand rolling tobacco. Investigations are continuing, the four people arrested were interviewed by HMRC and have been since been bailed.

Notes to Editors

1.Details of the arrests made in this operation:

Three men from Great Yarmouth aged 30, 32 and 34.

A woman from Great Yarmouth aged 20.

2.Follow HMRC’s Press Office on Twitter @hmrcpressoffice

3.HMRC’s Flickr channel www.flickr.com/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.