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Customs loses seized items

17 December 2007
Categories: News
Contraband believed to be missing from secure depot in Coventry

HMRC have become embroiled in fresh controversy regarding their security measures.

Contraband items seized by Customs officials, including drugs, passports and firearms, are believed to have gone missing from a secure depot in Coventry, near the city's airport.

The case follows the high-profile loss of HMRC computer disks containing the confidential details of 25 million child benefit recipients — which led last month to the resignation of the department's chairman, Paul Gray.

It is so far unclear whether the illegal goods that have vanished from the Customs depot have been stolen or simply misplaced. Police are looking into the matter.

The items in question are said to include cocaine worth £80,000, but HMRC have refused to confirm any details.

They claimed only that 'a small number of items are missing from one of our offices in the Coventry area'.

Shadow home secretary George Obsborne said the matter was 'yet another disaster from HMRC; a shocking security breach'.

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