Felixstowe: Two accused of having a role in �12m plot to smuggle contraband through Port of Felixstowe

FELIXSTOWE: Two alleged black marketeers today stand accused of involvement in a �12million plot to smuggle contraband through the Port of Felixstowe.

The man and woman have been charged with conspiring to evade the government duty on more than 20million cigarettes, and a massive amount of hand-rolling tobacco.

The importations are said to have taken place over a ten-month period.

The charges follow a lengthy investigation by Ipswich-based HM Customs and Revenue officers.

A total of more than 22m counterfeit cigarettes and 25 tonnes of illegal hand-rolling tobacco was seized after arriving at the port.

The duty evaded on the goods is in excess of �12m, according to a customs spokesman.

Xiu Ling Tan, a UK national from Gathorne Road, Wood Green, north London, made her first appearance before South East Suffolk Magistrates’ Court in Ipswich on Friday, charged with conspiracy to evade excise duty and VAT between April 2010 and February last year.

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Xiong Guan, a 33-year-old Chinese national, from Station Road, Harrow, also appeared before magistrates on the same day charged with the same offence.

Guam was arrested on January 5 last year, while his 44-year-old co-accused was detained on September 9, 2011.

Both were released on bail pending further inquiries and the pair were charged on Friday.

Paul Barton, assistant director of Criminal Investigation said: ‘I am unable to give further details at this time as our investigations are continuing.

“However, I would like to send out a clear message to those who may tempted to become involved in smuggling, that we take the evasion of tax very seriously and will seek to arrest and charge those suspected of being involved and bring them before the courts.”

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