More than 30 million cigarettes hidden among noodle soup seized from site near Dudley

More than 30 million illegal cigarettes worth £11.6m were found hidden among packets of noodle soup near Dudley.

The 30 million cigarettes hidden among noodle soup
The 30 million cigarettes hidden among noodle soup

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has seized the haul, one of the largest of its kind, from an industrial unit.

The cigarettes were discovered hidden amongst packets of dried noodle soup at a distribution centre.

They were packed onto 120 pallets, each containing around 252,000 cigarettes and stacked eight feet high.

The illicit cigarettes were seized by HMRC officers on November 16.

The 30 million cigarettes hidden among noodle soup

Paul Fisher, assistant director, Fraud Investigation Service, HMRC, said: “This is one of the largest inland seizures HMRC has ever made and it required six HGV’s to remove the cigarettes.

“Disrupting criminal trade is at the heart of our strategy to clampdown on the illicit tobacco market, which costs the UK around £1.9 billion a year.

"This is theft from the taxpayer and undermines legitimate traders.

The 30 million cigarettes hidden among noodle soup

“Cheap cigarettes come at a cost, as they often finance organised crime and we will continue to pursue those who commit tobacco fraud.

“We encourage anyone with information about the illegal sale of tobacco to report it online or call the Fraud Hotline on 0800 788 887.”

Investigations are ongoing.

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