An HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) taskforce is cracking down on sales of illegal alcohol in Scotland.

More than 40 officers from HMRC, South Lanarkshire Trading Standards and Police Scotland visited a number of premises in South Lanarkshire and Glasgow, and a total of 1,570 litres of beer, 1,880 litres of wine and 1,282 litres of spirits were seized during the operation

Chris Brett, HMRC’s alcohol taskforce manager in Scotland, said: “The South Lanarkshire operation is part of on-going work with our partner agencies to target the illicit alcohol supply chain, including producers, storage facilities, wholesalers and retailers. We are also keen to work 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 £1.2bn 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 licenses.

“If you are aware of someone who is evading their taxes you can call HMRC’s Tax Evasion Hotline on 0800 788 887.”

Taskforces are specialist teams that undertake intensive bursts of activity in specific high-risk trade sectors and locations in the UK. The teams visit traders to examine their records and carry out other investigations.