A self-storage facility was being used as a warehouse for huge quantities of cigarettes which were being smuggled to Wales from Europe.

The scam was uncovered when a lorry carrying 95,000 cigarettes in lead-lined wooden crates was intercepted by border guards as it emerged from the Channel Tunnel.

Inquiries led law enforcement officers to a Big Yellow storage centre in Cardiff and to more illegally-imported tobacco.

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Prosecutor Tom Roberts told Cardiff Crown Court that on January 12, 2019, customs officers stopped an HGV as it entered the UK. Inside officers found 95,000 cigarettes in lead-lined wooden crates. The crates were destined for the Big Yellow storage centre in Penarth Road in Cardiff and when police went to the facility they found a self-storage unit containing almost-identical wooden crates of cigarettes along with a large quantity of rolling tobacco.

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