Tobacco detection dog helps sniff out 1.3 million illicit cigarettes in Leeds

A tobacco detection dog helped sniff out more than 1.3 million illicit cigarettes seized from self-storage units in Leeds.

Monday, 2nd August 2021, 4:32 pm
Updated Tuesday, 3rd August 2021, 12:30 pm
Some of the seized illicit cigarettes

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) officers and a UK Border Force tobacco detection dog visited a self-storage site in Leeds on July 29.

Officers discovered 1,369,960 cigarettes, worth an estimated £565,793 in unpaid duty, inside two units at the site.

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Some of the seized illicit cigarettes

The cigarettes were seized by HMRC and investigations are ongoing.

Eden Noblett, assistant director of Fraud Investigation Service at HMRC, said: "Cheap cigarettes come at a cost as they often fund organised crime and other illegal activity that causes real harm to our communities, such as drugs, guns and human trafficking.

"The trade in illicit cigarettes also damages funding for essential public services and undermines legitimate traders including small, independent corner shops that serve local communities.

Some of the seized illicit cigarettes

"We encourage anyone with information about the illegal sale of tobacco to report it online or call the Fraud Hotline on 0800 788 887."

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Some of the seized illicit cigarettes