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Customs seize ‘unusual’ haul of contraband cigarettes

Customs seize ‘unusual’ haul of contraband cigarettes

A man who was towing a dinghy stuffed with 150 cartons of contraband cigarettes was arrested by Customs officers, who said the seizure exposed “an unusual method of smuggling”.

The man was spotted leaving Ocean Village Marina by the crew of the Customs vessel Tango II.

He was in a small rigid-hulled inflatable boat that was towing a dinghy, raising the officers’ suspicions.

“Having boarded the RHIB and the inflatable boat, the officers found a commercial amount of cigarettes hidden inside the inflatable,” Customs said in a statement.

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“The man, a Spanish national, was immediately arrested for the possession of a commercial amount of cigarettes and for being knowingly concerned in the exportation of the same.”

The RHIB and inflatable boat were taken to the Customs Marine Base where the full amount of cigarettes was extracted, counted and processed.

The total amount of cigarettes seized was 150 cartons of various brands.

Whilst conducting a routine patrol of British Gibraltar Territorial Waters on board HM Customs Vessel Tango II, officers of HM Customs Marine Section have recently found an unusual method of smuggling cigarettes.

When they were entering the Waterport basin around midday, the Customs Officers saw a small RHIB crewed by a single male, towing an inflatable boat.

The RHIB and the inflatable were leaving Ocean Village Marina, heading in a north-westerly direction.

This aroused the Officers’ suspicion and so the RHIB’s occupant was challenged.

Having boarded the RHIB and the inflatable boat, the officers found a commercial amount of cigarettes hidden inside the inflatable.

The man in the RHIB, a Spanish National, was immediately arrested for the possession of a commercial amount of cigarettes and for being knowingly concerned in the exportation of the same.

The RHIB and inflatable boat were taken to the Customs Marine Base where the full amount of cigarettes was extracted, counted and processed. The total amount of cigarettes seized was 150 cartons of various brands.

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