BRUSSELS: Belgium Customs has grasped 6.93 tonnes of tobacco at the Purfleet port shipping to UK.
Border Force officers use hi-tech search equipment to combat immigration crime and detect banned and restricted goods that smugglers attempt to bring into the country.
The smuggling attempt proved successful it would have cost the Treasury approximately £1.77m in unpaid duty.
Mark Kennedy, Border Force Assistant Director at Purfleet, said: “The trailer was full of shrink-wrapped pallets containing plain cartons marked ‘Hygienic Articles’. When my officers started examining boxes they found a top layer of pocket tissues with the remainder full of the tobacco.
“This was an excellent piece of detection work. By stopping this shipment we have starved those responsible of the proceeds of their criminality.
“I would urge anyone tempted by cheap cigarettes and tobacco to think again. The black market cheats honest traders and it is effectively stealing from the public purse.”
They use an array of search techniques, which in addition to sniffer dogs includes carbon dioxide detectors, heartbeat monitors and scanners – as well as visual searches – to find well-hidden stowaways, illegal drugs, firearms and tobacco which would otherwise end up causing harm to local people, businesses and communities.