Northern Ireland

£700k cigarettes and tobacco haul seized in Co Down

Discovery after Banbridge search

Some of the haul recovered in Co Down
Some of the cigarettes and tabaco haul recovered in Co Down

Two men have been arrested following the seizure of more than one million cigarettes and tobacco in County Down valued at more than £700,000.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), supported by the PSNI, seized cigarettes and tobacco - worth an estimated £713,789 in duty and taxes after a search of premises in Banbridge on February 5.

In total 1,004,360 non-UK duty paid cigarettes and 474kg of hand-rolling tobacco were seized.

A 56-year-old man, and another aged 18, were arrested and later released on bail.

Cigarettes and tabaco seized in Co Down
Cigarettes and tabaco seized in Co Down

Lucie Irving, Assistant Director, Fraud Investigation Service, HMRC, said “the trade in illicit cigarettes and tobacco damages funding for essential public services and undermines legitimate traders including small, independent shops that serve local communities.

Avine Kelly, PSNI Temporary Detective Superintendent PSNI, said:Working with our partner agencies, we remain committed to tackling the trade of illicit tobacco, and we remain resolute in our efforts to bring those who profit from criminality before the courts.”