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Man (59) arrested following seizure of half a million illegal cigarettes in Newry

Newry seizure

A 59-year-old man has been arrested following the seizure of 500,000 cigarettes and tobacco by customs officials and police.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), supported by the PSNI, seized cigarettes and tobacco – worth an estimated £250,000 in duty and taxes.

HMRC officers searched premises in Newry on Tuesday, October 17, as part of an operation to disrupt the sale and supply of suspected non-UK duty paid goods.

They seized half a million non-UK duty paid cigarettes, 25kg of hand-rolling tobacco, two vehicles, £30,000 and €30,000 in cash. The 59-year-old man was arrested and released on bail.

Lucie Irving, Assistant Director, Fraud Investigation Service, HMRC, said: “The trade in illicit cigarettes and tobacco damages funding for essential public services and undermines legitimate traders including small, independent shops that serve local communities.

“HMRC continues to work closely with our partners to relentlessly pursue the determined minority who refuse to play by the rules.”

Superintendent Norman Haslett, PSNI, said: “These seizures send a powerful message to those engaged in this type of crime.
“We are committed to working alongside our partner agencies to combat the illicit trade of illegal tobacco, wines and spirits and remain resolute in our efforts to put those who seek to profit from criminality before the courts.”

Anyone with information about the illegal sale of tobacco or alcohol should report it to HMRC online.

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