Nine arrested in suspected £11million tobacco fraud

17:00 06 June 2014

....

....

Archant

Nine people have been arrested and two illegal tobacco processing plants discovered after an investigation into suspected tobacco duty evasion of £11 million and associated money laundering offences.

During coordinated raids on Wednesday, 80 HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) criminal investigators searched premises in Dorset, the West Midlands, London, Cambridgeshire, Leicestershire and Northamptonshire, in relation to the suspected supply of over 60 tonnes of tobacco.

HMRC officers, assisted by West Midlands Police, uncovered tobacco processing and packaging factories at two residential properties in Handsworth, Birmingham. Four women and a man were arrested by HMRC at the scene. The five were also arrested by West Midlands Police on suspicion of drug offences.

In Dorset, HMRC investigators arrested a man at a residential address in Poole. Private addresses in Bournemouth and Christchurch, and business premises in Verwood and Bournemouth, were also searched.

Two men were arrested in London; one at a residential address in Tower Hamlets and the other in Southwark – where around £50,000 in cash was also seized. A fifth man was arrested at a residential property in Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire.

John Cooper, assistant director, Criminal Investigation, HMRC said: “HMRC investigators, assisted by police officers, have uncovered illegal tobacco factories in the West Midlands and arrested nine people across England. Tobacco crime undermines legitimate producers and retailers, costing the UK around £2 billion a year in lost revenue. Anyone with information about the illegal production or sale of tobacco should contact the Customs Hotline on 0800 59 5000.”

Business premises in Peterborough, a residential address in Corby and five vehicles were also searched and a quantity of tobacco was seized.

More news stories

Yesterday, 17:34
Wisbech Rose fair, 2015. Picture: Steve Williams.

Snow in Saturday’s heat helped scooped first prize for the Angles Theatre’s float in this year’s annual Rose Fair parade.

Yesterday, 11:45
The christening of Princess Charlotte at Sandringham Church. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Princess Charlotte was christened in front of the Queen and close family and friends yesterday as the Cambridges had their first public outing as a family of four.

Yesterday, 15:06
Cambridgeshire County Council election count at the Hudson Leisure Centre, Wisbech. Colin Gale (Lab)

Labour has admitted it called the by election in Whittlesey following the disqualification of Martin Curtis as a town councillor.

Yesterday, 14:37
Battle to save swan shot near  March

The RSPCA is battling to save a swan that was shot in the head with metal pellet at an infamous air gun ‘hotspot’ between March and Wisbech.

Most read stories

Most commented stories

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Wisbech Standard e-edition today E-edition