South East Wales

Illegal tobacco and alcohol seized in Cardiff and Newport

More than 165,000 cigarettes, 100kg of tobacco and 400 litres of alcohol have been seized following a three-day raid.

About 40 officers from HM Revenue and Customs, with help from the South Wales and Gwent Police forces, visited 100 retail premises, private addresses and self-storage units.

The items, worth more than £47,000 in duty and VAT, were taken from 25 locations in Cardiff and Newport.

Officers said the seized items were due to be sold in the two cities.

Colin Spinks, assistant director of criminal investigation at HMRC, said the illegal tobacco market costs the UK about £2bn a year and the sale of illegal alcohol costs about £1bn a year.

He added: "This is theft from the taxpayer and undermines legitimate traders."

No arrests have been made and investigations are continuing.

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