Millions of cigarettes seized at port

MORE than 40 million counterfeit cigarettes, 50 kilos of cannabis resin and 1.5 tonnes of chewing tobacco have been seized at the Port of Felixstowe in the last month, it was revealed today.

MORE than 40 million counterfeit cigarettes, 50 kilos of cannabis resin and 1.5 tonnes of chewing tobacco have been seized at the Port of Felixstowe in the last month, it was revealed today.

Among the biggest discoveries were:

7,839,400 Lambert and Butler cigarettes hidden in a container labelled as clothing which arrived from China

1.2m cigarettes which arrived from Dubai, concealed in settees and destined for the Manchester markets


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1.2m cigarettes hidden in sofas which were heading for Wales

6.5 million Golden Eagle cigarettes from Rotterdam

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56 kilos of cannabis resin and 10,000 euros which were hidden among a legitimate load of plants from Holland

Wash bags and slippers which turned out to be 9m fake cigarettes from China

Jim Jarvie, deputy director for UK Border Agency (UKBA) Border Force said: “UKBA and Revenue and Customs are committed to stamping out the problem of cigarette and tobacco smuggling across the UK in the interests of honest traders and public health.

“These recent seizures at Felixstowe are on a major scale and are due to the vigilance of the officers.

“The general public who buy illegal cigarettes thinking that they are a harmless tax fiddle need to be aware that tobacco smuggling undermines public health by creating a cheap and unregulated supply, operated by and for the benefit of criminals.

“These criminals don't care who they sell their illicit goods to, or indeed if they are purchased by children.”

Gail Adams, UKBA regional director for the Midlands and the East added: “This is an excellent result and an example of good joint working by the team.

“Smugglers are criminals who are only out to make a profit. They do not care about the harm that they cause by smuggling whether it's dangerous drugs, counterfeit cigarettes or illegal immigrants.”

No arrests have yet been made in relation to the seizures, although enquiries are on going.

Revenue and Customs bosses claim unregulated cigarettes could contain an unhealthy mix of cancer-causing chemicals including arsenic, cadmium, benzene and formaldehyde, far greater than the genuine product.

In addition they have also been found to contain sawdust, tobacco beetles and even rat droppings.

To report any suspicious activity around selling duty free cigarettes or hand rolling tobacco, call 0800 595000.

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