A man, aged 53, from Ormskirk (near Southport), has been arrested in a suspected £50m tax fraud by an international tobacco smuggling ring.

He was among ten people arrested in raids in the UK and Luxembourg.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) believe the gang used microwave ovens and other white goods to smuggle tonnes of illegal tobacco into the UK.

Nine others were arrested in Greater Manchester, Kent, Devon and Luxembourg.

HMRC officers seized 4,800kg of tobacco worth £1.5m in evaded duty.

HMRC, which was assisted by Luxembourg police, said cash had also been seized.

All 10 have been bailed until January or March 2013 pending further enquiries, an HMRC spokesman said.

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