HM Customs have revealed that officers have seize illegal tobacco in the north West.
HM Revenue and Customs Press Office issued a statement in which it was revealed that an operation to disrupt the sale and supply of illegal tobacco and alcohol, had uncovered what was believed to be more than 26,000 illicit cigarettes, seven kilogrammes of hand rolling tobacco (HRT) and over 33 litres of alcohol in Co Londonderry.
The HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) officers who were involved in the operation, were accompanied by the Police Service of Northern Ireland, and visited a number of commercial premises in Londonderry on Thursday, June 18 and also in Strabane, yesterday, Thursday, June 25 June, where they and seized the tobacco, cigarettes and alcohol.
The haul is worth an estimated £10,000 in lost duty.
A car was also seized during the operation.
Meanwhile, Mike Parkinson, the Assistant Director, Criminal Investigation, HMRC, said: “Tobacco fraud is organised crime on a global scale, encouraging and supporting criminality within our communities.
“Criminals are not providing a service, they are robbing taxpayers of billions each year in unpaid duty and taxes and undercutting legitimate local businesses who can’t compete with these illegal products.
“We urge anyone with information about the transport, storage or sale of suspected illicit tobacco to contact us.”
The telephone number to ring with any relevant information is the Customs Hotline, on 0800 59 5000.
Investigations into the seizures are continuing.