Southampton Customs arrest man after £60k tobacco seizure
A man was arrested after HM Revenue & Customs seized tobacco valued at £60,000 at Southampton's container port.
The British man was apprehended on suspicion of trying to avoid paying excise duty on the 550kg of fruit-flavoured tobacco.
Customs officers discovered the load hidden in a 20ft cargo container at the port on Wednesday.
The man was arrested in London the following day and released on bail.
HM Revenue & Customs spokesman Bob Gaiger said the tobacco had been found hidden in a container purporting to contain soft drinks and household goods.
He said: "The fruit tobacco appears to have been smuggled into the UK on a container ship from Dubai. This type of crime undercuts legitimate retailers and costs the UK economy around £2bn a year."
Investigations are ongoing.