Hampshire & Isle of Wight

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.

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