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HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) criminal investigators have arrested a man from West Sussex for allegedly evading the duty payable on 350,000 smuggled cigarettes.
The 52-year-old man from Chichester was picked up at a local storage facility and has been released on police bail until 16 April 2010. Investigations are continuing.
The amount of revenue evaded on the Seville brand cigarettes, believed to have been imported through Southampton Docks, is estimated at £68,000.
Derek Brooks, HMRC Senior Investigation Officer, said:
“HM Revenue & Customs investigators have prevented a quantity of illegally imported cigarettes from being sold on the UK’s streets, undercutting legitimate retailers. Anyone with information about illegal smuggling activities should call the Customs’ Hotline on 0800 59 5000.”
The cigarettes will eventually be burned at a power station to fuel the National Grid.