Smuggling plots worth nearly £6m foiled

A PLOT to smuggle fake designer sunglasses worth £2.5million through Felixstowe docks has been foiled, customs officers revealed today.The glasses were part of hauls worth nearly £6m, made at the port this month.

A PLOT to smuggle fake designer sunglasses worth £2.5million through Felixstowe docks has been foiled, customs officers revealed today.

The glasses were part of hauls worth nearly £6m, made at the port this month.

Others include more than 16m counterfeit cigarettes, two tons of preserved meat and more than 1,800 kilos of tobacco.

The fake versions of Lacoste, Prada, Oakley, Armani, Nike, Chanel, Gucci, D&G, Dior and Polo sunglasses were described as 'poor quality' replicas.

They arrived in a container after being shipped across from China and were destined for markets in coastal towns in Lincolnshire.

Kevin Sayer, customs detection manager at Felixstowe, said: “Some of the items can be dangerous. The fake sunglasses were of very poor quality and if purchased by an unsuspecting shopper may not offer protection from the sunlight.”

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Officers also discovered 2.3 tonnes of animal meat and 800kg of chewing tobacco in a cargo from Bangladesh.

The goods were described as prepared or preserved meat, and meat offal. They were headed for the Small Heath area of Birmingham.

It was seized because there were no valid documents to show it was fit for entry into the UK.

The duty evaded on the tobacco is estimated at £53,000.

Another smuggling plot to import 1,077 kilos of fruit flavoured pipe tobacco from Egypt was also foiled. The duty is estimated at £70,000.

Among £3.2m of illegal cigarettes seized at Felixstowe docks were an estimated three million in the bases of footstools. To recover them officers had to remove the feet and bottom of each stool with crow bars.

The fake Marlborough King-size were from China, as were other consignments seized.

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