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More than nine million cigarettes seized from lorry on A1

Cigarettes seized on A1

A lorry driver has been arrested following the seizure of more than nine million cigarettes on the A1.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), supported by the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI), seized the cigarettes – worth an estimated £5 million in duty and taxes.

The 45-foot lorry was stopped by the PSNI as it travelled northbound in the Lisburn area on May 8, 2024.

Officers seized 9.3 million cigarettes from the container.

A 31-year-old man was arrested and released on bail.

Dermot Clarke, Assistant Director, Fraud Investigation Service, HMRC, said: “The trade in illicit cigarettes and tobacco damages funding for essential public services and undermines legitimate traders including small, independent shops that serve local communities.

“HMRC continues to work closely with our partners to relentlessly pursue the determined minority who refuse to play by the rules.”

Detective Chief Superintendent Emma Neill, PSNI, said: “These seizures send a powerful message to those engaged in this type of crime.

“We are committed to working alongside our partner agencies to combat the illicit trade of illegal tobacco, wines and spirits and remain resolute in our efforts to put those who seek to profit from criminality before the courts.”

Anyone with information about the illegal sale of tobacco or alcohol should report it to HMRC online.

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