Four arrested in suspected £500,000 tobacco smuggling fraud in Great Yarmouth

Three men and a woman have been arrested with an investigation into suspected £500,000 tobacco smugg

Three men and a woman have been arrested with an investigation into suspected £500,000 tobacco smuggling fraud - Credit: PA

Three men and a woman were arrested by officers yesterday investigating a suspected £500,000 tobacco smuggling fraud in the Great Yarmouth area.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), accompanied by officers from Norfolk Police, Immigration Enforcement and Trading Standards, searched three businesses, two homes and a storage unit in the Great Yarmouth area yesterday morning.

As part of the operation officers seized 150,000 illicit cigarettes and hand rolling tobacco.

Investigations are continuing and the four people arrested were interviewed by HMRC and released on bail.

Paul Barton, assistant director at HMRC, said: 'The smuggling, transport, storage or sale of illegal tobacco will not be tolerated by HMRC.

'Disrupting criminal trade is at the heart of our strategy to clampdown on the illicit tobacco market, which costs UK taxpayers around £2.1 billion a year.

'We encourage anyone with information about suspicious tobacco or cigarette products to contact the Customs Hotline on 0800 59 5000.'

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