M4 operation success for HMRC and Wiltshire Police
Wiltshire Police and the HM Revenue and Customs came together to conduct a vehicle check along the M4 which saw three people arrested and one hundred fix penalty notices.
The operation was put in place for four days to catch those with illegal alcohol, tobacco or vehicles using non road fuel as well as identifying those breaching the Road Traffic Act.
During the operation police seized 1.5 tonnes of tobacco worth around £200,000. A man from Nottingham was arrested.
One hundred and six penalty notices were also handed out totalling around £18,000 for road traffic offences including dangerously overweight vehicles and dangerous driving putting other drivers at risk.
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Other offences included: a van driving on red diesel, four commercial vehicles being driven without insurance, drink driving and a vehicle being driven without a licence.
HMRC Assistant Director Criminal Investigation Simon De-Kayne said: "This four day blitz has been a success for HMRC and our law enforcement partners. Together we have prevented substantial quantities of illegal tobacco and alcohol from reaching the South West's streets and opened futher avenues of enquiry."
It's estimated that tobacco fraud costs the UK government around £1.8 billion a year.
Commercial Vehicle Enforcement and Road Safety Partnerships Sergeant Craig Hardy said: "This operation was a great success and, as a result of it, we have made the section of the M4 running through Wiltshire a safer place for motorists."
"This operation is a great example of good partnership working with other key agencies. I hope this operation and its results highlight the dedication of Wiltshire Police in tackling road safety issues in our county."
The operation along the M4 ran from Monday, 11, March to Thursday, 14, March 2013 with around 25 officers and investigators working each day.