Press release -
Four arrested for suspected 3m cigarette smuggling fraud
Four men have been arrested in West Suffolk by officers from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) investigating a suspected three million cigarette smuggling fraud.
Around 70 HMRC investigators carried out searches of three residential and one business premises in the Brandon area. The duty loss is estimated as £600,000.
Paul Barton, Assistant Director Criminal Investigation, HMRC, said:
“This operation targeted what we believe to be an organised criminal gang suspected of large-scale cigarette smuggling.
“Our activity sends a clear message to those involved in this type of criminality. Attempts to import, distribute and sell tobacco goods on which UK duty has not been paid are treated extremely seriously by HMRC, and we will relentlessly pursue any individuals or crime gangs believed to be involved.”
People can report suspected selling of illegal tobacco and cigarettes by calling HMRC’s 24 hour Customs Hotline on 0800 59 5000.
All four men have been bailed until 12 February 2014.
Notes for editors
1. Details of the arrests:
· 12 November 2013, three men aged 52, 24 and 34.
· 15 November 2013, one man aged 27.
· All four men were arrested on suspicion of being involved in excise fraud, primarily the illegal importation of cigarettes.
2. Follow HMRC on Twitter @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.