Customs officers have seized more than 300,000 smuggled cigarettes.

Airport news for Flights,East Midlands on 13/12/2010.

Arrange your travel plans by choosing from car hire, hotels, flights, airport parking and travel insurance using our form.

Customs officers at East Midlands Airport say they seized 301,960 cigarettes found in the luggage of 16 British travellers flying back from Tenerife. Included in the record haul was 6kgs of hand rolling tobacco.

The seized tobacco products would have cost the smugglers around £30,000 in Tenerife. In the UK, the cigarettes and tobacco could have been sold for a total of £90,000. The seizure is a new record. The old record was set in 2004, when officials seized 252,000 cigarettes.

The UK Border agency issued as statement on 22 November. According to the statement, one of the 16 travellers was in a wheelchair. Airport staff escorted her to the customs check point.

When the woman’s suitcase was opened, the hidden stash was discovered. Apparently, the passenger was so startled by the discovery that she managed to walk out of the wheelchair.

Alex Lawther, assistant director of the UK Border Agency, said the seizure reflects the strong controls the agency has put in place at airports and ports in the UK in a bid to prevent drugs and weapons entering Britain. He said tobacco smuggling was frequently connected to serious organised crime.

More Airport News