Glasgow customs raids uncover five tonnes of tobacco

Illicit tobacco

HMRC has seized around five tonnes of suspected illicit tobacco worth an estimated £1.5m in lost duty and taxes in a series of raids in Glasgow.

The busts also uncovered two suspected tobacco factories and £4,000 in cash.

Three women – aged 37, 38 and 42 – and a 25-year-old man were charged with excise duty fraud in connection with the find.

Searches of five households, a commercial property, two self-storage containers and three vehicles were conducted on 21 February.

Joe Hendry, of HMRC’s fraud investigation service, commented: “The sale of illegal tobacco will not be tolerated by us or our partner agencies. Disrupting criminal trade is at the heart of our strategy to clamp down on the illicit tobacco market, which costs the UK around £2.5bn a year.

“This is theft from the taxpayer and undermines legitimate traders.”

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