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5 March 2012, 12:20
A man and a woman have been charged with conspiracy to evade duty in connection with the discovery of more than 22 million counterfeit cigarettes and 25 tonnes of illicit hand rolling tobacco at the Port of Felixstowe.
The duty evaded on the goods is estimated as in excess of £12 million.
Paul Barton Assistant Director of Criminal Investigation said:
"I am unable to give further details at this time as our investigations are continuing. However, I would like to send out a clear message to those who may tempted to become involved in smuggling, that we take the evasion of tax very seriously and will seek to arrest and charge those suspected of being involved and bring them before the courts"
He added: "We would encourage anyone with information regarding smuggling or tax fraud to contact the Customs Hotline on 0800 59 5000. Calls can be made anonymously".
44-year-old Xiu Ling Tan, a UK National from Wood Green in London and 33-year-old Xiong Guan, a Chinese National living in Harrow were charged last Friday (2 March 2012) and bailed to appear before Ipswich Magistrates Court on 20 March 2012.
They were both charged with conspiracy to evade excise duty and VAT between April 2010 and February 2011.