A number of arrests have been made following the seizure of a vast haul of illicit tobacco in Lincolnshire.

Just under seven tonnes of tobacco, worth around £1.1m, was discovered in a storage facility near Louth.

One man was arrested by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) investigators at the scene, and another at a residential address in Cleethorpes.

The men have been bailed until September 12 and investigations into how the haul reached the storage facility are on-going. 

HMRC spokesman Peter Hollier said: “This type of crime undercuts legitimate retailers and costs the UK economy around £2bn a year.”

Anyone with information about tobacco smuggling should contact the Customs’ Hotline on 0800 59 5000.”  

The East Midlands have the third highest rate of non UK duty paid tobacco consumption in the UK behind the north of England and East Anglia according to JTI.

Seizures of counterfeit goods, including tobacco and alcohol, by HMRC have reached a three year high according to the recently released Intellectual Property Crime Report.

Better collaboration between HMRC, local trading standards, legitimate retailers and police is credited for driving the higher seizure rate.