A N OPERATION to disrupt the sale and supply of illegal tobacco and alcohol across South Wales uncovered more than 49,000 cigarettes, 60 kilos of hand-rolling tobacco as well as illicit alcohol. Around 15 officers from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), with support from the Tobacco Detection Dog Team, visited 19 premises including self-storage units, retail shops and a public house on Wednesday 9 and Thursday 10 December. The visits, to locations in Bridgend, Neath, Swansea, Llanelli, Ammanford, Carmarthen and Lampeter, led to suspected illegal tobacco and alcohol products being seized from three premises- two in the Swansea area and one in the Lampeter area.
This included: 49,200 cigarettes, with an estimated £15,793 duty and VAT evaded 60 kilos of hand-rolling tobacco, with an estimated £ 14, 640 duty and VAT evaded 7.3 litres of alcohol, with approximately £95 duty and VAT evaded . Colin Spinks Assistant Director, Fraud Investigation Service, HMRC, said: “In the run up to Christmas, people may well be tempted to buy cheap tobacco and alcohol but the illicit alcohol and tobacco market costs the UK around £3.3 billion a year. This is theft from the taxpayer and undermines legitimate traders. “I would urge people to be mindful of this and would encourage anyone with information about the illegal sale of tobacco or alcohol to contact the Customs Hotline on 0800 595 000.”