Cigarette smuggling gang put behind bars

A Lancashire gang who imported over two million contraband cigarettes into the country packed inside wheelie bins has been jailed for a total of almost nine-years.

A Lancashire gang who imported over two million contraband cigarettes into the country packed inside wheelie bins has been jailed for a total of almost nine-years.

The group was targeted by Lancashire Constabulary’s Serious and Organised Crime Unit as part of a lengthy operation – codenamed Bittern – which began in May 2008.

The investigation, which spread across three European countries, revealed the group was smuggling cigarettes from Germany, via Holland, into the UK. The group had disguised the true nature of the cigarettes within loads of wheelie bins and used legitimate transport companies to import the goods, in order to avoid paying duty.

Detective Inspector Jo Edwards, who led the investigation, said: “This should be a strong warning to people who think they can get away with illegitimately bringing cigarettes, or other goods, into the country. We will not tolerate it, you will be targeted and you will be brought to justice and put behind bars.”

Read the full story here.


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