16/12/2003

Police appeal following hijacking of £1m worth of cigarettes

Police are appealing for information after a delivery vehicle containing more than £1 million worth of cigarettes was hijacked in Co Down on Monday.

Several men dressed as road service workmen in yellow jackets, scarves and hard hats stopped the lorry which was carrying a 40ft trailer along the Dublin Road just outside Newry at around 7.30am.

As the driver stopped at what he thought was roadworks, the window of the lorry was smashed in and he was confronted by several men, two of whom were armed with handguns.

The driver was bound and his face was covered up before he was driven a short distance in another vehicle. He was then held by the men and questioned before being driven another distance and released. He sustained minor injuries during the incident.

The cab of the lorry was found burnt out on the Low Road, Killeavy a short time later. The trailer was subsequently recovered by the Gardai, however, the load of cigarettes are still missing.

Anyone with information is asked to contact detectives in Newry at 028 3026 5500 or anonymously call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

(MB)

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