35k illegal fags seized in Londonderry raids
ALMOST 35k illegal cigarettes were seized by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) during a series of raids on properties in Londonderry on Tuesday.
HMRC officers searched a number of business premises and a private residence in the Creggan and Waterside areas of the city where they discovered the cigarettes and half a kilo of hand rolling tobacco estimated to be worth £9,000 in unpaid excise duty and VAT.
A commercial vehicle carrying illegal cigarettes was also seized, and restored to the owner following payment of £1,150.
John Whiting, Assistant Director, Criminal Investigation for HMRC said: “Tobacco smuggling is organised fraud on a global scale, encouraging and supporting criminality within our communities and robbing taxpayers of billions each year in unpaid duty and VAT.
“With cheap cigarettes you may think you are getting a bargain, but you really have no idea what you are paying for. Anyone with information about the storage or sale of illegal tobacco in their area should contact the Customs’ hotline on 0800 59 5000 or www.hmrc.gov.uk/customs-hotline.”
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Weather for Londonderry
Friday 24 May 2013
Temperature: 5 C to 12 C
Wind Speed: 16 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 8 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: South west