Woodbridge: Suffolk man arrested over cigarette smuggling plot

A SUFFOLK businessman has been released on bail after 60,000 smuggled Russian cigarettes and ₤40,000 in cash were discovered in the back of a van.

The man was arrested on suspicion of smuggling after officers from Suffolk Constabulary’s Automatic Number Plate Recognition intercept team stopped his vehicle on the A12 at Woodbridge.

When they looked inside the van they discovered the cash in used bank notes and the cigarettes, which have a street value of �30,000.

The 60-year-old man was taken into custody and officers from HM Revenue and Customs were called in to interview the suspect.

Customs officers said the man is from Lowestoft and was arrested on Monday afternoon.

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The man’s business premises were then searched and a further quantity of cash and Russian cigarettes were found. The duty evaded on the contraband is estimated as �14,200.

Detective Inspector Caroline Millar, of Suffolk Constabulary, said: “Our ANPR Intercept Team stop-checked a van on the A12 and discovered a number of boxes in the back.

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“Officers alerted HMRC and the vehicle and business premises in Lowestoft were searched.

“A 60-year-old man from Lowestoft was arrested on suspicion of evasion of duty and taken into custody.

“He was bailed to return to Lowestoft Police Station on April 4.”

Bob Gaiger, a spokesman for HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) said: “This is another example of how Enforcement Agencies work together to foil attempts to smuggle illegal goods into the UK.

“We urge local people to work closely with us in the fight against crime and we encourage anyone who is aware of illicit cigarettes or tobacco being smuggled into or sold in the UK to contact the Customs Hotline 0800 59 5000 or email customs.hotline@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk.

“This type of crime is depriving the public purse of around �3 billion a year in lost revenue.”

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