Cigarettes seized at Birmingham Airport

By Laura Payne Thursday 13 September 2012 Updated: 13/09 09:51

MORE than 100,000 cigarettes were seized from a group of passengers returning to Birmingham Airport.

Border Force officers swooped on a family of five and a 20-year-old man when they landed on a flight from Istanbul.

Officers discovered 79,200 cigarettes in the luggage belonging to the family from Derby while £21,200 cigarettes were discovered in the bags belonging to the man, who is from Ipswich.

It is estimated the Treasury would have lost around £25,000 in unpaid excise duty if the tobacco had been sold in the UK.

Passengers travelling from outside the UK are allowed to bring 200 cigarettes into the country.

Alex Lawther, from Border Force at Birmingham Airport, said: "These detections show that our eagle-eyed officers are on constant alert, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to keep illegal goods out of the UK.

"Anyone who smuggles tobacco for commercial gain is effectively stealing from the public purse and increases the burden on law-abiding taxpayers.

"Tobacco smugglers are tracked by Border Force and repeat offenders will be prosecuted."

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