Cigarettes smuggled as coffee machines

Published Friday, 01 June 2012
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Over four million cigarettes have been seized at Belfast Docks.

Cigarettes smuggled as coffee machines
The smuggled goods were found at Belfast Dock. (© Border Force)

Border Force officers found them packed in cardboard boxes, which were marked 'coffee machines', as part of a shipment which arrived from China via Rotterdam on Thursday.

Markings on the packets suggested the cigarettes were destined for sale in the Republic of Ireland, but the container was heading for a business in Northern Ireland.

The duty evaded is estimated to be approximately £1m.

"Border Force officers are on constant alert to keep contraband goods and other banned substances out of the UK," said Paul Tunney from the organisation.

"Anyone who smuggles tobacco for commercial gain is effectively stealing from the public purse and from law-abiding taxpayers.

"The money from this kind of smuggling is often recycled into other forms of organised crime."

Anyone with information about activity they suspect may be linked to smuggling can call the Border Force hotline on 0800 59 5000.

© UTV News
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