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    Illegal cigarettes worth £5 million seized from 45-foot lorry

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    More than nine million cigarettes have been seized from a lorry in Northern Ireland on Wednesday (8).

    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 from a 45-foot lorry that was stopped by police as it travelled northbound on the A1 in Lisburn.

    Officers seized 9.3 million cigarettes from the container, with the 31-year-old driver arrested and later released on bail. Investigations into the seizure are continuing.

    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.”

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