By Tony Winterburn • 18 October 2020 • 12:46
Border guards have seized 10 million bootleg cigarettes from a Polish lorry in a massive smuggling operation.
The fags were found hidden away by the Border Guards in the back of a lorry which, according to the paperwork, was actually meant to be carrying washing machines for the UK’s domestic market. Officers decided to raid the Polish-registered truck after high-tech scanners revealed anomalies as it left a ferry in Harwich, Essex.
They were amazed to discover that there were only four appliances on board with huge pallets of shrink-wrapped Lambert and Butler silver cigarettes stashed behind them. The haul – worth £3 million in unpaid duty – is the second-largest consignment of cigarettes bound for the black market to be intercepted at the port this year.
The Border Force has had a wave of major successes in disrupting bootleg tobacco, booze and drug smuggling operations this year. Home Secretary Priti Patel hailed their latest success, saying: “Every day 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.”
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