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Smuggled fags hidden in cookie boxes

PUBLISHED: 14:08 13 November 2009 | UPDATED: 15:37 03 July 2010

NEARLY 50,000 smuggled cigarettes - some hidden in fortune cookie boxes - have been seized.

Four addresses in Norwich, including a Chinese takeaway were searched by officers from HM Revenue & Customs.

NEARLY 50,000 smuggled cigarettes - some hidden in fortune cookie boxes - have been seized.

Four addresses in Norwich, including a Chinese takeaway were searched by officers from HM Revenue & Customs.

Officers used search warrants to gain entry to the take-away restaurant and three private houses in the city last Wednesday.

In total they confiscated 40,800 Chinese cigarettes which had been smuggled into the UK in parcels from South East Asia.

The duty loss is estimated as £8856, no arrests have been made but investigations are ongoing.

At one of the addresses, a Chinese National was detained; enquiries on his residency are ongoing with the UK Border Agency.

Dave Gostelow, from HMRC said: “Smuggling cigarettes is not a victimless crime. It takes valuable income away from local shopkeepers, allows children to purchase tobacco from an unregulated source and often involves criminal gangs bringing other illegal goods into the UK.

“Anyone who has information on smuggling can telephone our 24 hour hotline on 0800 59 5000.”


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