Hunt for cig gang 'Mr Bigs'.CRIME bosses behind a multi-million tobacco smuggling smuggling, illegal transport across state or national boundaries of goods or persons liable to customs or to prohibition. Smuggling has been carried on in nearly all nations and has occasionally been adopted as an instrument of national policy, as by Great Britain racket are to be hunted down in a massive customs blitz blitz
a. A blitzkrieg.
b. A heavy aerial bombardment.
2. An intense campaign: a media blitz focused on young voters.
Organised gangs trafficking cigarettes and rolling tobacco are now costing the country up to pounds 2.7 billion a year.
Chancellor Gordon Brown announced the crackdown crack·down
An act or example of forceful regulation, repression, or restraint: a crackdown on crime.
Noun 1. yesterday after putting 17.5p on a pack of 20.
He is to appoint a new "cigarette tsar" to draw up tough measures to combat the illegal trade and smash the racketeers.
The Budget increase makes the average price around pounds 3.75 a pack compared to about pounds 2 in France and Belgium.
Mr Brown defended the rise as a vital step towards cutting cancer and smoking diseases, but admitted illegal imports are running out of control.
He said: "I am not going to allow the health policy we have adopted to be undermined by organised crime."
"We are not talking about one or two people from abroad bringing in a few more packs.
"A few years ago about three per cent of our cigarettes were smuggled smug·gle
v. smug·gled, smug·gling, smug·gles
1. To import or export without paying lawful customs charges or duties.
2. To bring in or take out illicitly or by stealth. , now it is 10 per cent and rising."
Customs chiefs fear the latest Budget increase will fuel demand for black market cigarettes.
Gang bosses rake in rake in
Informal to acquire (money) in large amounts
Verb 1. rake in - earn large sums of money; "Since she accepted the new position, she has been raking it in"
shovel in massive profits by undercutting shop prices by more than pounds 1 a pack. The mark-up on hand-rolled tobacco is even steeper.