Belfast Telegraph

£5m tobacco haul seized in Newry area

By Adrian Rutherford

Around £5m worth of cigarettes and tobacco have been seized in the Newry area.

The haul of ten tonnes of loose tobacco and 411,000 cigarettes, was recovered by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

HMRC officers, accompanied by the PSNI, searched a commercial premises in the city on Thursday.

The cigarettes and tobacco, believed to be worth an estimated £5m in lost duty and taxes, were discovered inside, the site of a suspected illicit tobacco factory.

Steve Tracey, assistant director of HMRC's fraud investigation service, said: "The trade in illicit tobacco is unregulated and makes cheaper tobacco more readily available to the young and vulnerable.

"The sale of illegal tobacco will not be tolerated by us or our partner agencies. Disrupting criminal trade is at the heart of our strategy to clampdown on the illicit tobacco market, which costs the UK around £2.5bn a year."

Belfast Telegraph

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