A 6,000-litre haul of Nigerian spirits was in intercepted by Border Force officers at the Port of Tilbury.
The contraband alcohol had been split between two containers shipped to the UK from Nigeria. One container, which was searched on July 19, contained 3,300 litres of 42 per cent proof bitters and the other, searched on July 22, contained 2,699.25 litres of the same product.
In an attempt to evade excise duty on the alcohol, the smugglers responsible had listed the contents of the containers as foodstuffs. In a further attempt to conceal the true nature of the contents of one of the containers the spirits had been placed inside boxes labelled as containing soft drinks.
The bottles found in the container at Tilbury
Had the smuggling attempt proved successful it could have cost the Treasury approximately £68,800 in unpaid duty.
Mark Kennedy, Border Force Assistant Director at Tilbury, said: “This was an excellent detection. By stopping the shipment we have starved those responsible of the proceeds of their criminality.
“We will continue to work hard to tackle criminals out to make a profit by cheating British tax payers and undercutting honest local traders.”
No arrests have yet been made.
Anyone with information about activity they suspect may be linked to smuggling can call our hotline on 0800 59 5000.