Almost £80k of illegal cigarettes seized in raids in Dorset

Credit: HM Revenue and Customs

Almost £80,000 worth of illegal cigarettes have been seized in Dorset.

Raids by HM Revenue and Customs found illegal alcohol and tobacco products at 15 different locations in Bournemouth, Poole and Dorset.

The operation, supported by Dorset Police and trading standards, visited 95 shops and self storage units between 18 and 21 June 2019.

HMRC's Tobacco Taskforce found:

  • 205,752 cigarettes, with an estimated £77,157 duty and VAT evaded.

  • 103.85 kilos of hand-rolling tobacco, with an estimated £31,750 duty and VAT evaded.

  • 23.7 litres of alcohol, with an estimated £234.60 duty and VAT evaded.

HMRC say that illegal tobacco costs the UK as much as £1.8 billion a year, while the sale of illegal alcohol costs £0.9 billion.

Police are encouraging members of the local community to get in touch if they suspect that illegal alcohol or tobacco is on sale in their area.

Anyone with information on tobacco fraud can report it via the HMRC website or the Fraud Hotline - 0800 788 887