Illicit tobacco Suffolk Constabulary

Police and HM Revenue and Customs officers have seized 90,000 cigarettes and 45kg of hand rolling tobacco in Lowestoft, Suffolk.

On Tuesday 6 February, the cigarettes and tobacco were recovered from a single storage unit, as well as from a vehicle seized from the Triangle Market found to contain tobacco and cigarettes. While a shop in the Triangle was found to have a large man-made hiding place created under the floorboards at the rear of the shop premises, also containing tobacco products.

The seized products were worth an estimated £67,000 in duty and taxes.

Police subsequently arrested a man in connection with the incident on Saturday 10 February. A man, aged 26, was released on bail pending further enquiries until 1 May.

Sgt Richard Bemment said: “This was a very productive operation as illicit tobacco contributes to harm within the local community and often goes hand in hand with anti-social behaviour and more serious criminality wider afield or on a national scale. I’d like to pass on my thanks to all the other agencies involved – a great bit of partnership working and also thank to the owners of the local storage unit who were extremely helpful with this operation.”

PCSO Michael Soames said: “As well as the duty and tax loss there is a massive human cost behind this trade in illegal tobacco products, whether this be health issues or the supporting of human trafficking and modern day slavery which tend to go hand in hand with these types of offences, which working with our partners we are determined to tackle.”