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Two arrested in alleged tobacco smuggling ring

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: December 05, 2012

Tobacco 2

Two men have been arrested in Plymouth during an investigation into an alleged £50 million tax fraud by an international tobacco smuggling ring.

The 26-year-old and 52-year-old were among ten people held in a series of co-ordinated raids in the UK and Luxembourg. The gang is alleged to have used microwave ovens and other white goods to smuggle tonnes of illegal tobacco into the UK.

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) investigators, carried out searches in Kent, Devon, Greater Manchester, Merseyside and Luxembourg last week, and arrested nine men and one woman. The arrests follow a covert HMRC investigation into the large-scale import and export of microwave ovens and other white goods allegedly filled with hand-rolling tobacco or cash.

Spokesman Mike O'Grady said: "Further details cannot be provided at this early stage, as our investigation is continuing. However, tax fraud and attempts to launder the proceeds of crime are treated extremely seriously by HMRC, and we will relentlessly pursue any individuals or crime gangs believed to be attacking the public revenue in this way."

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