Of late, (HMRC) Her Majesty’s Revenue Customs has confiscated approximately 500000 suspected illicit cigarettes and around 700kg of hand-rolled tobacco in Bristol. Officers from HMRC searched four residential addresses and two business premises on June 12 as a part of an investigation into cigarette and tobacco smuggling.
A spokesperson from HMRC said that £80,000 in cash was seized by the authorities. Five men and woman were also arrested on suspicion of falsely evading excise duty., A woman was also arrested on suspicion of money laundering and another man arrested on suspicion of illegally evading excise duty.
Illicit white cigarettes have no legal market in the UK. These cigarettes are mass manufactured in factories in Russia and the East and are imported illegally to the UK. No duty is paid on these cigarettes and health warnings are also missing.
On the other hand, counterfeit cigarettes are illegally manufactured and sold by a party other than the original trademark or copyright holder. Counterfeit hand-rolling tobacco is like cigarettes which are illegally manufactured and sold by a party other than the original trademark or copyright owner.