Northern Ireland

County Armagh men arrested in international tobacco raids

€30,000 in cash was seized in HMRC raids in County Armagh Image copyright HMRC
Image caption €30,000 in cash was seized in HMRC raids in County Armagh

Two men from County Armagh have been arrested in the Netherlands as part of an international investigation into suspected money laundering and tobacco smuggling.

The arrests were part of a joint operation by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and Dutch Customs (FIOD) officers on Thursday.

The men are aged 36 and 42. A Dutch national was also arrested in the operation.

They remain in custody.

Image copyright HMRC
Image caption About 50,000 cigarettes, believed to be illicit, were seized in County Armagh

HMRC officers, supported by the PSNI, searched three residential properties and a commercial premises in County Armagh as part of the operation.

A property in County Tyrone was also searched.

Officers seized 30kgs of tobacco, 50,000 cigarettes, believed to be illicit, and 30,000 euros (£25,100) in the County Armagh raids. Two vans and computers were also seized.

Steve Tracey, from HMRC, said: "Money laundering facilitates organised crime, and it's something HMRC takes very seriously.

"We use a wide range of tough sanctions and will not hesitate to investigate where money laundering is suspected."