1. ITV Report

Border Force foil cigarette smugglers at Harwich

Two million smuggled cigarettes have been seized at the Port of Harwich. Photo: Press Association

An attempt to smuggle two million cigarettes through Harwich port has been foiled by Border Force officers.

The seizure was made on Thursday 23 May when officers stopped a lorry for further examination. The vehicle, which had arrived at the port from the Hook of Holland, was listed as carrying a load of plastic tubs containing plaster granules.

When officers searched the vehicle they found that each tub contained nine cartons of cigarettes concealed among the plaster. An estimated 2.2 million cigarettes were recovered.

“The size of this detection should leave people in no doubt that tobacco smuggling is a serious and organised crime. It deprives the economy of significant revenue and diverts the money into the pockets of organised criminal gangs. By stopping these shipments we are starving them of the proceeds of their criminality."

– Charlotte Mann, Assistant Director for Border Force at Harwich
The smuggled cigarettes could have cost the Treasury half a million pounds in Excise Duty. Credit: Chris Radburn/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Border Force say that if the haul had not been intercepted it could have cost the Treasury about £500,000 in unpaid excise duty.