Border Force officers using hi-tech scanners found and seized around 10 million black market cigarettes, worth almost £3 million in unpaid duty.
Hi-tech scanners and search equipment are used to combat immigration crime and detect banned and restricted goods coming into the UK. Border Force officers inspected the vehicle’s and discovered huge pallets of shrink-wrapped ‘Lambert and Butler’ silver brand cigarettes.
Officers detected anomalies with the Polish-registered lorry travelling on a ferry from the Hook of Holland to Harwich. Paperwork for the vehicle showed it should have contained washing machines but appeared to be almost empty.
Border force claims the seizure prevented the Treasury losing almost £3 million in unpaid duty.
This was It is the second-largest seizure of cigarettes by Border Force at Harwich this year; And earlier this month, Border Force officials in Dover seized 1 million cigarettes with over £400,000
Home Secretary Priti Patel said:
Everyday Border Force teams are protecting the UK from violent gangs hell-bent on smuggling in weapons, drugs and illicit cash.
Border Force’s hard work has stopped criminals from making huge profits from black market cigarettes and cheating the taxpayer out of millions of pounds.
The Polish driver was arrested on suspicion of evasion of excise duty but was subsequently released. The Cab and Trailer were seized by Border Force officials.