Customs steps up illicit booze campaign

10 April, 2009

HM Revenue & Customs has stepped up its campaign against illicit alcohol and tobacco with a new national network.

Seven teams of officers have been

set up around the country to target

smugglers and disrupt and dismantle

the supply and distribution chains for illicit tobacco and alcohol. Five more teams are to join them in the next three months.

The network aims to fight the supply of illicit tobacco and alcohol in retail and unlawful channels, and will also target the market in

illicit fuel .

HMRC's John McManus said: "The new teams will pursue businesses or people involved in selling illicit tobacco, alcohol and fuel. Since 2000 HMRC has broken up more than 370 criminal gangs and prosecuted more than 2,000 people.

" Organised crime undermines honest businesses whose trade is damaged when smugglers undercut them ."

Anyone with information about smuggled tobacco, alcohol or fuel should contact:

hmrc.gov.uk/customs-hotline,

email customs.hotline@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk

or call 0800 595000.




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