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Customs raid part of crackdown

customscrackdownA PROPERTY in Lampeter was found to be harbouring illegal alcohol and tobacco after a recent operation by HMRC officers. 60 kilograms of rolling tobacco and 49,200 cigarettes, which were worth more than £30,000 in evaded VAT and duty were seized from three properties – the other two of which were in the Swansea area – after a series of raids on December 9-10. 15 officers from HMRC and the tobacco detection dog team visited 19 premises, including self-storage units, a pub, and shops, in Carmarthen, Ammanford, Llanelli, Bridgend, Neath and Swansea.

Colin Spinks, Assistant Director of the HMRC Fraud Investigation Service, 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.”

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Dayne Stone

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