Belfast Telegraph

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Trio quizzed over seizure of cigarettes

By Allan Preston

Three men have been arrested as more than 100,000 suspected illegal cigarettes were seized in Belfast.

Customs officers, supported by the PSNI, carried out three separate searches last week.

They recovered more than 106,000 suspected illegal cigarettes worth well over £30,000 in lost duty and taxes.

The first illegal haul was discovered on January 17 after packages were intercepted by HM Revenue and Customs officers at a postal depot.

The cigarettes were addressed to a property in east Belfast.

The counterfeit brands included Septwolves, Yun yan and Hongtashan.

Follow-up searches across east and south Belfast led to tens of thousands of cigarettes being seized.

Three men - aged 42, 39 and 28 - were arrested.

They have since been interviewed and released on bail pending further investigations into the suspected excise frauds.

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