Arrest over major illicit tobacco haul

From: UTV

A 56-year-old company director has been arrested in connection with a suspected tobacco smuggling fraud worth an estimated £11m.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) officers carried out searches at a private address in the Widnes area of Cheshire, in England, on Tuesday.

They seized computers, phones and business records relating to the fraud.

Addresses in the south Armagh area were also searched by HMRC officers, who were accompanied by the PSNI.

The man was interviewed by HMRC and has been released on bail. Investigations are continuing.

The arrest follows the largest seizure of the tobacco product in Europe so far this year.

Over 32 million illicit cigarettes and nearly five tonnes of shisha tobacco were uncovered by officers from the Irish Revenue’s Customs Service and An Garda Síochána at Drogheda Port, Co Louth on Tuesday morning.

They were found onboard the cargo vessel, the MV Shingle, which had been loaded in Slovenia and arrived into Drogheda Port via Lisbon. The vessel was seized along with its cargo.

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