Five tonnes of suspected illicit tobacco seized in Glasgow

Around five tonnes of suspected illicit tobacco estimated to be worth £1.5 million in lost duty and taxes has been seized in Glasgow.

HMRC officers made the recovery when searching five homes, one commercial property, two self-storage containers and three vehicles across the city on Thursday.

Four people have been arrested and charged with excise duty fraud in the operation.

Joe Hendry, assistant director of HMRC’s fraud investigation service, said: “The trade in illicit tobacco is unregulated and makes cheaper tobacco more readily available to the young and vulnerable.

“The sale of illegal tobacco will not be tolerated by us or our partner agencies.

“Disrupting criminal trade is at the heart of our strategy to clampdown on the illicit tobacco market, which costs the UK around £2.5 billion a year.

“This is theft from the taxpayer and undermines legitimate traders.”

Those charged were all from Glasgow and include a 25-year-old man and three women aged 37, 38 and 42.