Seized cigarettes fuel energy grid
Published 25/02/2011 | 10:22
More than four million cigarettes seized from a suspected smuggler at a port have been burned to fuel the National Grid, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has said.
The 4.6 million Lambert and Butler branded cigarettes were found by customs officers in a lorry at Newhaven, East Sussex, after arriving by ferry from Dieppe.
Spanish lorry driver Alain Corominas Pons, 44, was charged with evading £714,000 in duty when the load was allegedly smuggled into the UK in March 2007.
He was remanded in custody when he appeared at Southampton Magistrates' Court on Thursday until his next court appearance on March 3, said HMRC.
A HMRC spokesman said: "The cigarettes have been burned at a power station to fuel the National Grid."
He added that cigarette smuggling costs the UK economy millions of pounds in lost revenue each year, which could be used to fund public services.