Gallery: Five million cigarettes seized at Port of Felixstowe

Cigarettes seized at Felixstowe

Cigarettes seized at Felixstowe - Credit: Archant

A bid to smuggle more than five million cigarettes into the UK was foiled at the Port of Felixstowe, it has emerged.

A total of 5.1m cigarettes had been shipped to the UK from the Netherlands inside a trailer in which the contents were listed as “stage and stand equipment”, a Border Force spokesman said.

Charlotte Mann, Border Force’s assistant director at Felixstowe, said: “Beyond mislabelling the contents of the trailer the criminals responsible had made little attempt to conceal the cigarettes.

“The trailer had been loaded with 22 pallets wrapped in blue shrink wrap, with cartons of cigarettes inside the shrink wrap.

“This was a flagrant smuggling attempt and by stopping the shipment we have starved those responsible of the proceeds of their criminality.

“I would urge anyone tempted by cheap cigarettes and tobacco to think again. The black market cheats honest traders and it is effectively stealing from the public purse.”

The seizure was made on Monday last week.

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Had the smuggling attempt proved successful, it could have cost the Treasury around £1.6m in unpaid duty.