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|Jump to full article: The Information Daily (formerly eGov monitor - A Policy Dialogue Platform) (uk), 2012-02-27|
Author: Source: HM Revenue & Customs
A gang who described over 20 million smuggled cigarettes as baby's toys on shipping documents have been jailed after a covert surveillance operation caught them red-handed.
The seven men were arrested after some of them were seen unloading over 10 million illicit cigarettes at a warehouse in Upminster after they had been smuggled into the UK from Dubai through the port of Felixstowe. The total duty evaded is estimated as £3.3 million.
Paul Barton, Assistant Director of Criminal Investigation for HMRC, said: "If these criminals had not been stopped they would have flooded local markets with not only the 20 million illicit cigarettes we seized but would have gone on to smuggle in many more. HMRC is determined to eradicate this form of criminality and raise awareness of the devastating effect on our communities, including legitimate retailers having to compete with black market goods. Tobacco smuggling costs the country around £2 billion in lost revenue each year - money that could be funding vital public services."
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