Millions of cigarettes disguised as chicken fillets smuggled into Harwich Port

Huge haul of 8.5 million cigarettes found at Harwich port. Picture: BORDER FORCE

Huge haul of 8.5 million cigarettes found at Harwich port. Picture: BORDER FORCE - Credit: Archant

Smugglers have attempted to bring more than 8.5 million cigarettes into the UK through Harwich International Port.

Officers made the discovery at Harwich International Port. Picture: BORDER FORCE

Officers made the discovery at Harwich International Port. Picture: BORDER FORCE - Credit: Archant

Border Force officers stopped a trailer – which was on board a freight vessel from the Hook of Holland – in its tracks on Sunday.

When they searched it they discovered white, shrink wrapped pallets of cardboard boxes labelled chicken fillets.

But when they were opened, officers found several packets of Gold Mount cigarettes.

Border Force assistant director Mick Holmes said: “Cigarette smuggling cheats honest traders and the public purse.


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“By making this sizeable seizure my officers have stopped those responsible from profiting and prevented a loss to the treasury of more than £3million in unpaid duty.

“Our efforts to prevent smuggling will not cease and we urge members of the public to think twice before buying cheap cigarettes and tobacco.”

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Experts use hi-tech search equipment to crack down on immigration crime and detect banned and restricted goods that smugglers attempt to bring into the country.

Sniffer dogs, carbon dioxide detectors, heartbeat monitors and scanners are among search techniques used by Border Force to find illegal drugs, firearms and tobacco.

Anyone with information about activity they believe might be linked to smuggling should call their hotline on 0800 59 5000.

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