Border Force seize 99 million illegal cigarettes at Port of Hull in biggest ever haul

A man has been arrested after officers found the haul in the back of a lorry. Credit: MEN Media

Border Force has revealed its officers found the biggest ever haul of illegal cigarettes into the UK after seizing a truck at the Port of Hull.

Nighty nine million cigarettes were found in the back of the lorry which had been shipped through the United Arab Emirates.

HM Revenue and Customs said the unpaid tax on the cigarettes was worth around £44 million.

A 57-year-old man from South Wales was arrested in July in connection with the seizure and released on bail. Another man from the Birmingham area has been interviewed under caution.

Officers say investigations into the seizure are still ongoing.

The illegal cigarettes are the largest ever haul seized in the UK Credit: MEN Media

Anthony Usher, Deputy Director, Fraud Investigation Service, HMRC, said: "This is the single largest seizure of cigarettes ever made at a UK port – and our streets would have been flooded with them had they not been discovered.

"We are determined to stamp out tobacco fraud by working closely with partners in the UK and internationally to bring those responsible to justice.

"Cheap cigarettes come at a cost as they often fund organised crime and other illegal activity that causes real harm to our communities, such as drugs, guns and human trafficking.

"We urge anyone with information about cigarette fraud to contact HMRC online."