HMRC bust discovers 2.2million ‘illicit’ cigarettes in Glasgow

Two men have been charged after a bust uncovered 2.2 million suspected illicit cigarettes at a Glasgow business unit.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) officers made the discovery in the south of the city on Monday June 27.

Eight pallets of cigarettes, worth an estimated £795,000 in lost duty, have been found.

Two men, aged 57 and 53, from Glasgow, have been charged with excise duty fraud after being arrested and questioned by officers.

cigarettes in Glasgow” alt=”HeraldScotland: Boxes containing illicit cigarettes in Glasgow” class=”editor-image”/>Boxes containing illicit cigarettes in Glasgow

The 57-year-old was also charged with £408,000 excise duty fraud linked to another seizure of 1.1 million suspected illicit cigarettes in Whitburn, West Lothian on April 27, 2022.

The pair have been released while investigations continue.

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In a separate operation, officers also discovered 1.8 tonnes of compressed raw tobacco leaves at a transport depot in Wishaw, North Lanarkshire, on Friday June 2.

When processed, this would produce two tonnes of illicit rolling tobacco with an estimated duty loss of £782,000.

HeraldScotland: Illegal tobacco found in WishawIllegal tobacco found in Wishaw

HMRC said an investigation was underway.

Joe Hendry, Deputy Director, Fraud Investigation Service, HMRC, said: “The trade in illicit cigarettes and tobacco harms the funding of essential public services and undermines legitimate traders, including small independent neighborhood shops that serve local communities. .

“HMRC continues to work closely with our partners in the Scottish Organized Crime Task Force to relentlessly pursue the determined minority who refuse to play by the rules.

“Anyone with information about the illegal sale of cigarettes and tobacco should report it to HMRC online at gov.uk.”

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