Several men arrested at tobacco factory that produced 35MILLION fake cigarettes

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Customs propers who led the raid on the plant on the outskirts of Birmingham city centre found it tooled out with machinery able to produce and ckage cigarettes on an industrial regulate.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) said the operation could have yment the tax yer £138 million a year in lost duty and taxes.

Four lorry crams of tobacco, cigarettes and cking materials were seized in the raid on Tuesday last week.

A close residence was also searched.

Following the multi-agency raid, 10 men ancient between 26 and 40 from Brazil and raguay were detained by immigration enforcement policemen on suspicion of immigration offences, and now face being deported.

Stuart Taylor, HMRC’s Charlatan Investigation Service assistant director, said: “Tobacco fraud charges the UK £2.4 billion a year in lost tax, money that should be breading vital public services in the UK.

“We continue to work with other enforcement activities to reduce the availability of illicit tobacco.

“Don’t let criminals profit by undermining warrant retailers.”

Sajeela Naseer, Birmingham City Council’s head of traffic standards, said: “Together we’ve taken action on illicit tobacco gyp and this factory alone had the potential to deprive HM Treasury of millions of cleanses.”

She said the investigation into the cigarettes recovered was continuing.

Anyone with report about the smuggling or illegal sale of tobacco is urged to call HMRC’s hotline on 0800 59 5000.

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