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Police help HM Revenue and Customs dismantle suspected illegal tobacco factory

Posted on 30th March 2015

Derbyshire police have assisted HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) officers in dismantling of a suspected illicit tobacco factory.

A tobacco-processing machine, believed to be capable of producing more than £700,000 of illicit tobacco a day, has been seized in Derby after an investigation by HMRC.

HMRC officers, working with Derbyshire police, dismantled the suspected factory at an industrial storage unit near the city centre on Monday, March 23. More than 1.2 tonnes of tobacco, which HMRC believe to be worth an estimated £283,000 in duty and taxes, was seized during the operation.

A 38-year-old Derby man has been arrested an released on bail while the inquiry continues.

Stuart Taylor, Assistant Director, Criminal Investigation, HMRC, said: "Tobacco fraud costs the UK £2 billion a year in lost tax and this factory alone had the potential to rob taxpayers of hundreds of thousands of pounds a day in evaded excise duty.

"In addition to significant revenue loss, illicit tobacco products damage legitimate businesses and the trade is unregulated making cheaper tobacco more readily available to the young and vulnerable.”

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