Belfast Telegraph

300,000 smuggled cigarettes seized

More than 300,000 smuggled cigarettes were seized from a van in Co Down, it has been disclosed.

Customs officers swooped at the Newry dual carriageway in Banbridge on Tuesday.

Two people from Co Antrim, a man and a woman, were arrested, questioned and released on bail pending further inquiries. The van and a car were confiscated.

Mike Connolly, an assistant director at revenue and customs, said: "This form of criminality is motivated solely by greed and personal gain, costing us all, as taxpayers, about £2 billion per year in unpaid duty.

"The unregulated sale of illegal cigarettes is not a victimless or harmless crime, and encourages otherwise honest people to trade with criminals."

Revenue and Customs estimates the duty evaded on the 310,000 cigarettes to be £62,000.

Investigations are continuing.

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