Operation Humbug involved an additional 55 officers seconded to S E England, for the run-up to Christmas and the Millennium, to disrupt the activity of bootleggers during that period. The “Humbug” teams succeeded in preventing the evasion of approximately 2.28m pounds during November and December 1999. In addition to seizing revenue goods and 158 vehicles the teams also detected 12 illegal immigrants and over 200kgs of Cannabis Resin. This is in addition to seizures made by the regular teams.

Goods Revenue Seizures
Alcohol goods 395,881 pnds 86 pnds (Beer/wine/spirits)
Tobacco goods 1,877,318 pnds 760 pnds (Handrolling tobacco /cigarettes)
Total 2,273,199 pnds

Vehicles seized 158 Restored to hire company 59 Restored to owners 9

Paymaster General Dawn Primarolo said “The success of the Operation Humbug speaks for itself, HM Customs gave clear warnings of their intentions and many of those who did not heed those warnings have paid a high price.

Smuggling will simply not be tolerated. It is not a jack-the-lad activity, it is a criminal act which takes money out of the pockets of honest taxpayers – money which could be spent on public services such as schools and hospitals.”

Further information available from Nigel Knott, (01304) 224399 or Dover Collection Co-ordination Unit (24 hours) (01304) 215639.

If you have any information concerning illegally imported drugs, alcohol, cigarettes or tobacco, call Customs Confidential 24 hours a day free and in confidence on 0800 59 5000.

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