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Illegal tobacco seized at Koonoomoo

By Country News

The Australian Taxation Office has seized 17.6 tonnes of illegal tobacco and 44 kilograms of seedlings from a farm in Koonoomoo.

The tobacco seized on Thursday (April 5) has an estimated excise value of more than $16 million.

The warrant action is in addition to a number of operations since July 1, 2016 where officers led 23 operations seizing more than $170 million of illegal crops.

"Engaging in the illegal tobacco trade not only supports organised criminal syndicates, it also robs the community by denying them of taxes that would be raised," assistant commissioner Peter Vujanic said.

Growing tobacco without an excise licence has been illegal in Australia for more than a decade and there is no legal avenue for Australian grown tobacco to be manufactured and sold.

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