Almost 170,000 litres of illicit beers, wines and spirits have been prevented from entering the legitimate supply chain after Welsh authorities made their largest ever seizure of illicit alcohol.

A man from Cardiff has been arrested after HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) seized over 169,000 litres of illicit alcohol, worth an estimated £303,000 in lost duty and taxes.

HMRC officers searching an industrial unit in a business park in Cardiff discovered enough illicit alcohol to fill over eight 40ft containers. The alcohol was packed onto pallets, which HMRC suspects were ready to be distributed throughout South Wales.

Colin Spinks, HMRC assistant director, criminal Investigation, said: “This seizure has prevented nearly 170,000 litres of illicit alcohol entering the legitimate market, helping to protect honest businesses whose livelihoods are threatened by this unregulated activity.

“We are committed to stopping this criminal activity that costs the taxpayer around £1.2 billion in unpaid revenue each year and I would urge anyone with any information on the sale of illegal alcohol to contact us on the Customs’ Hotline on 0800 59 5000.”

The man has been released on bail and investigations are continuing.