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Visitors to Easter car boot sales in the South West are being urged by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) to be on the lookout for traders selling counterfeit and smuggled cigarettes and alcohol at what may appear to be 'bargain prices'.
Like any other counterfeit product, there is no guarantee of the quality or content. Of all the large cigarette seizures HMRC made last year around half were found to be counterfeit.
They are not genuine cigarettes brought back from holiday but were probably made in back-street or underground factories across the world and their manufacture and sale is unlicensed and unregulated.
Many of the cigarette brands seized in recent months across the UK are not sold legally in the UK. Known as 'Cheap Whites', they are effectively made purely for smuggling and often obtained in large quantities by organised crime gangs who smuggle them into the UK. They are then sold illegally at car boot sales and markets, in pubs and clubs and residential areas and some small independent retail shops.
We would encourage anyone who knows of someone selling cheap or duty free cigarettes, tobacco or alcohol to contact:
Customs Hotline on 0800 59 5000 or email email@example.com