An attempt to smuggle 160,000 cigarettes into the UK went up in smoke thanks to Border Force officers at Grangemouth Docks.
The seizure happened on Halloween when officers searched a freight container that arrived at the port on a container vessel from Antwerp, Belgium and discovered 800 cartons concealed inside electric generators.
Senior Border Force officer Colin Fraser said: “This is a significant seizure. By stopping the shipment our officers have starved those responsible of the proceeds of their criminality.
“The black market cheats honest traders and it is effectively stealing from the public purse. People tempted by cheap cigarettes and tobacco should think again.”
Had the smuggling attempts proved successful it could have cost HM Treasury approximately £56,289 in unpaid duty and VAT.
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.
They use an array of search techniques, which, in addition to sniffer dogs, includes carbon dioxide detectors, heartbeat monitors and scanners to find illegal drugs, firearms and tobacco which would otherwise end up causing harm to local people, businesses and communities.
Anyone with information about activity they suspect may be linked to smuggling can call the Border Force hotline on 0800 595 000.