Two men charged after 2.2 million 'illicit cigarettes' seized

Officers made the discovery at a business unit in the Southside of Glasgow on Monday.

Two men charged after 2.2 million ‘illegal cigarettes’ seized from a business unit in Glasgow’s Southside HMRC

Two men have been charged after more than two million suspected illicit cigarettes were seized from a business unit in Glasgow.

On Monday, officers made the discovery at the site in the city’s Southside, where eight pallets of approximately 2.2 million cigarettes were seized.

HMRC believe the pallets were worth an estimated £795,000 in lost duty and taxes.

Two men aged 57 and 53 were charged with Excise Duty fraud after being arrested and interviewed by officers.

The pair have been released as enquiries continue.

The 57-year-old man was also charged with a £408,000 Excise Duty fraud related to another seizure of 1.1m suspected illicit cigarettes in Whitburn, West Lothian, on April 27.

It follows an unrelated operation, in which 1.8 tonnes of compressed raw tobacco leaf were discovered and seized by HMRC officers from a haulage depot in Wishaw on Friday.

When processed, the quantity would have produced two tonnes of illicit hand rolling tobacco with an estimated duty loss of £782,000.

HMRC say that the illicit tobacco and alcohol market collectively costs the UK around £3.3bn a year.

Joe Hendry, assistant director of HMRC’s Fraud Investigation Service, said: “The trade in illicit cigarettes and tobacco damages funding for essential public services and undermines legitimate traders including small, independent corner shops that serve local communities.

“HMRC continues to work closely with our partners in Scotland’s Serious Organised Crime Taskforce to relentlessly pursue the determined minority who refuse to play by the rules.

“Anyone with information about the illegal sale of cigarettes and tobacco should report it to HMRC online at”

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