Get involved! Send photos, video, news & views. Text SWINDON NEWS to 80360 or email us
Three arrests as M4 drivers are targeted
11:00am Thursday 21st March 2013 in News
THREE people have been arrested, 1.5 tonnes of tobacco seized and more than 100 fixed penalty notices issued during a crackdown targeting motorists on the M4.
The joint operation by Wiltshire Police and HM Revenue and Customs focused on excise fraud and motoring offences.
HMRC was looking for illegal alcohol, tobacco or vehicles using non-road fuel.
Wiltshire Police was identifying breaches of the Road Traffic Act.
As part of the operation officers seized 1.5 tonnes of tobacco with an estimated £200,000 of duty evaded – a man from the Nottingham area has been arrested.
They issued 106 fixed penalty notices with fines totalling more than £18,000 for traffic offences including to 56 dangerously overweight vehicles, potentially putting other road users at risk.
They also seized two vans loaded with non-duty paid alcohol, including vodka and wine, with an estimated £7,000 of duty evaded, arrested a commercial driver for drink driving, seized a car and four commercial vehicles driven without insurance, seized a van running on red diesel, and seized a commercial vehicle driven without a licence.
The UK Border Agency also made an arrest for immigration offences.
Simon De-Kayne, HMRC Assistant Director Criminal Investigation, said: “Tobacco fraud alone costs the UK Government £1.8 billion a year. Anyone with information about this type of crime should contact the Customs Hotline on 0800 59 5000.”
Commercial Vehicle Enforcement and Road Safety Partnerships Sergeant Craig Hardy who headed the operation for Wiltshire Police, said: “We have made the section of the M4 running through Wiltshire a safer place for motorists.”