Three men suspected of running a counterfeit tobacco processing plant have been arrested in series of dawn raids in the West Midlands and Warwickshire.                      

Officers swooped on three residential addresses in Solihull, Great Barr and Stratford-upon-Avon and two business premises, one near Solihull and one in Nuneaton.

They uncovered tobacco processing equipment, loose leaf tobacco and pouches of counterfeit hand rolling tobacco.

Computers, business records, paperwork, mobile phones and £20,000 in cash have also been seized.

Adrian Farley, assistant director of criminal investigation for HM Revenue and Customs said the machinery had the potential to process a vast amount of counterfeit hand rolling tobacco.

“Our investigations are continuing but we would encourage anyone with information regarding illicit tobacco and smuggling to contact the Customs Hotline on 0800 59 5000,” he added.