Felixstowe: Attempt to smuggle five million cigarettes through port is foiled by border force officers
16:14 14 March 2014
Border force officers have foiled an attempt to smuggle five million cigarettes into the UK through the Port of Felixstowe.
Officials discovered the cigarettes on Wednesday evening after investigating an unaccompanied trailer which had arrived at the port from the Netherlands.
No attempt was made to disguise the cargo in the trailer.
Phillip Holliday, Border Force Regional Director, said: “The unpaid duty on these cigarettes would have run into seven figures and it is effectively stealing from the public purse and from law-abiding taxpayers.
“I would urge anyone tempted by cheap cigarettes and tobacco to think again.
“The black market cheats honest traders. It is totally unregulated so buyers have no way of knowing what they are actually getting and, worst of all, further up the supply chain criminals are reaping the rewards.
“Gangs often use the proceeds of tobacco smuggling to fund other forms of serious organised crime. By stopping these shipments we are starving them of the proceeds of their criminality.”
The trailer containing mixed brands of cigarettes and if the smuggling attempt had been successful, it would have cost the Treasury an estimated £1million in unpaid excise duty.
If you have information about activity you suspect could be linked to smuggling, call 0800 59 5000.