Customs seize 49,000 litres of illicit spiritsBy Melita Kiely
HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has seized 49,000 litres of illegal spirits following a six-week crackdown on smuggling and excise fraud from Calais to Dover.
HMRC officers worked with Border Force and the French customs authorities and uncovered more than 550,000 litres of non-duty-paid beer, wine and spirits at the port of Dover, equating more than £1.3m in revenue.
In order to disrupt the illegal alcohol trade to the UK by organized criminal gangs, the 27 vehicles found to be stowing the alcohol were destroyed, reported the Dover Express.
“The operation has been a great success in disrupting the activity of these organized criminal gangs, clawing back more than £1.3 million in evaded duty,” said Richard Las, HMRC’s deputy director, criminal investigation.
“The alcohol ha been seized in order to protect legitimate traders and the public finances, and the vehicles have been destroyed to leave no room for the criminals to manoeuvre.
“We also made three arrests where investigations continue and anyone we catch can expect to feel the full force of our powers, including financial penalties and potentially a criminal record.
“We work closely with our partner agencies to help us identify, target and disrupt these organized criminal gangs smuggling alcohol into the country.”