• June 12, 2024

Record Seizure of Illegal Cigarettes at Hull Port

 Record Seizure of Illegal Cigarettes at Hull Port
Photo: Tobacco Reporter archive

British Customs authorities reported the largest-ever seizure of illegal tobacco in the United Kingdom when a sniffer dog found 99 million illicit cigarettes in the Port of Hull, reports BBC News.

The illegal products were in eight shipping containers said to have been shipped through the United Arab Emirates. The cigarettes were worth about £44 million ($48.56 million) in unpaid taxes, according to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

Import documents falsely labeled the shipping containers as carrying birchwood logs.

“This is the single largest seizure of cigarettes ever made at a U.K. port,” said Anthony Usher, deputy director of HMRC’s fraud investigation service. “Our streets would have been flooded with them had they not been discovered.

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