Tyne & Wear

Cigarette smugglers intercepted at Newcastle Airport

Smugglers tried to bring more than a quarter of a million cigarettes through Newcastle Airport.

UK Border Agency officers intercepted the haul which also included 27.2 kg (60 lbs) of hand-rolling tobacco.

The 270,920 cigarettes were found when 17 passengers, who had flown from the Canary Islands on Wednesday, passed through border controls.

In total the team of officers searched 18 suitcases and 11 pieces of hand luggage, which were full of cigarettes.

Investigations are ongoing as a result of the seizure.

Fred Simmons, Assistant Director of the UK Border Agency said: "This represents a significant haul for Newcastle Airport, and is testament to the tight controls we have in place at all our frontiers.

"Tobacco goods on this scale would defraud the government and the taxpayer out of a significant amount of revenue."

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