Man arrested for money laundering

A SOMPTING man has been arrested on suspicion of money laundering as part of an investigation into tobacco-duty evasion.

The 35-year-old was part of a series of arrests which followed the seizure of almost three tons of hand-rolling tobacco.

He was later released on police bail until July 28 while enquiries continue.

Four men and two women appeared in court on April 9, charged with evading tobacco duty, following an operation in central Southampton on April 8.

The tobacco was seized by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) investigators, working alongside officers from Sussex Police and the South East Regional Organised Crime Unit, at a residential property in Southampton.

The estimated excise duty evaded is around £560,000.

Tian Yang, 37, Shu Lan Lin, 41, Hua Wang, 37, Yun Wang, 30, Hui Xue, 24, and Jia Min Shi, 25, were charged at Southampton Central Police Station on Wednesday morning, before appearing at Southampton Magistrates’ Court.

All six were arrested on April 8 by HMRC investigators on suspicion of the fraudulent evasion of excise duty.

A seventh person, a man 33, from Maidstone, Kent, was arrested nearby by officers from the force’s Economic Crime Unit on suspicion of money laundering.

The officers also seized £6,900 in cash.

The man was later released on bail until July 27 while enquiries continue.