Two Arbroath men, aged 51 and 27, were arrested by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) after a hoard of tobacco goods was seized last Wednesday.
The two men were arrested and charged under the Customs & Excise Management Act, 1979, section 170 offences along with two men aged 28 and 24 from Dundee for the seizure of 1.5 tonnes of hand-rolling tobacco and nearly 30,000 cigarettes, which is worth over £360,000 in lost duty.
HMRC officers, accompanied by Police Scotland, searched six private and business addresses in the Dundee, Arbroath and Blairgowrie areas, where they seized the suspected illicit tobacco and cigarettes. Tobacco shredding machinery and 50 boxes of counterfeit packaging were also seized.
Joe Hendry, Criminal Investigation, HMRC, said: “Tobacco smuggling is organised fraud on a global scale, encouraging and supporting criminality within our communities and robbing taxpayers of billions each year in unpaid duty and VAT.
“We urge anyone with information about the transport, storage, or sale of suspect alcohol or tobacco to contact us on the Customs’ Hotline on 0800 59 5000 or www.hmrc.gov.uk/customs-hotline.”
The four men were charged and released pending further enquiries and a report to the Procurator Fiscal.