Northern Ireland

4.8m illicit cigarettes seized at Belfast docks

Illicit cigarettes Image copyright HM Customs
Image caption The cigarettes were found in a trailer at Belfast docks

More than four and a half million illicit cigarettes have been seized at Belfast docks.

A trailer containing the 4,869,000 President cigarettes was detained in the HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), Border Force and PSNI operation.

The load, which was destined for an address in County Armagh, was worth an estimated £1,825,875 in evaded duty, HMRC have said.

No arrests were made during the operation, which took place on Monday.

Steve Tracey, assistant director of Fraud Investigation Service at HMRC, said: "Tobacco fraudsters undercut legitimate retailers depriving the UK of money needed to fund our public services.

"We work closely with Border Force and other partners to tackle and disrupt this illicit trade.

"HMRC will continue to target the supply of illicit tobacco, which costs the UK around £1.8bn a year."