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Illegal Goods Seized in Government Raids of Self-Storage and Other Properties in the UK

Two separate raids by government officials in the United Kingdom uncovered illegal alcohol and tobacco at several properties, including a self-storage facility in South Derbyshire, England. Police and trading-standards officers uncovered illegal goods worth £1 million inside six units at the South Derbyshire storage facility. The haul included 31,000 Viagra-type tablets, nearly 2 million illegal cigarettes, counterfeit clothing and boxes of illegally stored display fireworks, according to one source.

December 14, 2015

2 Min Read
Illegal Goods Seized in Government Raids of Self-Storage and Other Properties in the UK

Two separate raids by government officials in the United Kingdom uncovered illegal alcohol and tobacco at several properties, including a self-storage facility in South Derbyshire, England. Police and trading-standards officers uncovered illegal goods worth £1 million inside six units at the South Derbyshire storage facility. The haul included 31,000 Viagra-type tablets, nearly 2 million illegal cigarettes, counterfeit clothing and boxes of illegally stored display fireworks, according to one source.

The raid was part of a “concerted campaign” by officers over two years, according to Dave Allen, a cabinet member for health and communities for the Derbyshire County Council.

“This is one of the biggest single seizures of fake and illicit tobacco by trading standards officers in the U.K.," he said. "It's an extremely important result, which has kept 92,000 packets of illegal cigarettes and 11,000 packs of hand-rolling tobacco off the streets of Derbyshire."

Officers also raided stores in Ilkeston, Long Eaton, Newhall and Ripley, England, seizing an additional 10,000 cigarettes and 33 pounds of hand-rolling tobacco, which were hidden in concealed panels.

A Derby, England, man has been questioned in connection with the seizure and released on bail, a source reported. The investigation is ongoing.

Another raid took place on Dec. 9 and 10 at 19 properties in Wales. Officers from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC), with support from the Tobacco Detection Dog Team, seized 49,200 illegal cigarettes, 60 kilos of hand-rolling tobacco and 7.3 liters of illicit alcohol from storage units, retail shops and a pub, according to one source. The seizures represented more than £30,000 in lost duty, HMRC said.

The raid included properties in Ammanford, Bridgend, Carmarthen, Lampeter, Llanelli, Neath and Swansea, Wales. Illegal goods were found at three properties, two of which were in Swansea and the other in Lampeter.

“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 U.K. around £3.3 billion a year. This is theft from the taxpayer and undermines legitimate traders,” Colin Spinks, assistant director of the Fraud Investigation Service at HMRC, told a source. “I would urge people to be mindful of this and encourage anyone with information about the illegal sale of tobacco or alcohol to contact the Customs Hotline.”

Sources:

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