A substantial quantity of illegal tobacco has been uncovered in a flat in north Belfast following investigations by HM Revenue & Customs.
Over 30kgs of tobacco, 11,600 counterfeit cigarettes, counterfeit packaging and duty stamps were discovered at a flat on the Antrim Road on Tuesday afternoon.
The haul of illicit hand rolling tobacco and cigarettes is worth almost £7,000 in unpaid duty.
It is believed the tobacco and cigarettes originated in China, however, investigations are continuing.
Michael Connolly, HMRC’s Assistant Director of Specialist Investigations, said: “Cheap tobacco may seem like a bargain at the time, but this tobacco was packaged in less than ideal conditions”.
“Tobacco factories like this are packaging low quality tobacco and I’d urge people to be wary – if you’re offered tobacco at a price that seems too good to be true, then it probably is.
“Tobacco smuggling is a serious crime. It undermines honest traders, putting their livelihoods at risk and damages our local economy. Anyone with information about tobacco smuggling can help us by calling the Customs’ hotline on 0800 59 5000.”