Doncaster men arrested as part of £20m illegal cigs probe

TWO men from Doncaster have been arrested in a series of raids connected to a £20 million illegal tobacco ring.

Officers from HM Revenue and Customs swopped on homes and commercial properties in Doncaster, Retford and Newark this morning.

A total of five men were arrested, including a 26 and a 27-year-old from the borough.

Around 60 investigators from HMRC assisted by police officers carried out the busts as part of Operation Hornbeam - a long running investigation into the evasion of excise duty on cigarettes and tobacco, and money laundering.

Peter Hollier, HMRC’s assistant director for criminal investigation, said: “Today’s raids are the culmination of months of work by HMRC officers involved in Operation Hornbeam.

“However, today’s activities send a clear message to those tempted to become mixed up in crimes of this nature – we take excise fraud and the trade in smuggled tobacco goods extremely seriously and will pursue anyone believed to be actively involved in this type of crime.”

No more details have been released as the operation is still ongoing.