Gravesend man arrested on suspicion of selling, storing and distributing illicit tobacco
PUBLISHED: 17:06 11 March 2015 | UPDATED: 10:24 12 March 2015
More than 443,000 suspected illegal cigarettes and 47 kilos of hand rolling tobacco seized
A north Kent man has been arrested by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) officers on suspicion of selling, storing and distributing illicit tobacco goods.
The 40-year-old was arrested by investigators at a Gravesend house yesterday (Tuesday) morning.
Officers searched three premises in the town, and removed records for analysis, more than 443,000 suspected illicit cigarettes and 47 kilos of hand rolling tobacco.
The arrest follows a seizure of almost 600,000 illicit cigarettes and over 55 kilos of tobacco from a garage in Gravesend in December 2014.
The total estimated duty evaded on the cigarettes and tobacco seized is £341,000.
Peter Millroy, assistant director of criminal investigation at HMRC, said: “Tackling the illicit tobacco trade is a priority for HMRC and we will not hesitate to investigate those suspected of being involved.
“These offences have a devastating impact on honest retailers who have to compete with the black market and on the nation’s finances, with around £2 billion lost in excise revenue each year.
“Anyone with information about people who may be involved in this type of fraud can contact the customs hotline on 0800 59 5000.”
The man has been interviewed and released on bail until June 10.