Almost 35,000 litres of illicit beer, wine and spirits have been seized by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) as alcohol taskforce officers continue to target illegal sales across Scotland.

More than 50 staff from HMRC, North Lanarkshire Trading Standards and Police Scotland visited a number of premises in North Lanarkshire and Glasgow, where the illicit alcohol was seized.

Chris Brett, HMRC'S Alcohol Taskforce manager in Scotland, said:"The North Lanarkshire operation is part of ongoing work with our partner agencies to target the illicit alcohol supply chain, including producers, storage facilities, wholesalers and retailers, to combat this crime.

"We are also keen to work closely with, and support, local businesses that have to compete against these illegal sales.

"Anyone handling or selling smuggled alcohol should be aware that HMRC teams are active across Scotland. We are committed to stopping this criminal activity which costs the taxpayer around £1.2 billion in unpaid revenue each year.

"HMRC and the other agencies involved will now consider further action against offenders, including full tax and VAT investigations and a review of alcohol and other trading licences."

Taskforces are specialist teams that undertake intensive bursts of activity inspecific high-risk sectors and locations in the UK. The teams visit traders to examine their records and carry out other investigations. The alcohol taskforce in Scotland is expected to bring in around £4 million.

If you are aware of someone who is evading their taxes you can call HMRC's Tax Evasion Hotline on 0800 788887.

Issued by HM Revenue & Customs Press Office