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Over half of smokers in Wales have bought illegal tobacco

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IT WAS an ordinary one week family holiday to Turkey, for a 45-year old Pembrokeshire man and his family. Like many who travel on holiday, he took the opportunity to bring back cheap cigarettes and tobacco to save money back home.
The logical thinking was, The Herald was told, that this saving on the cost of smoking would pay for the holiday in these tough financial times.
Mr Jones (Not real name), from Haverfordwest had purchased 6200 in various brands of cigarettes, and 1000g of Golden Virgina and was expecting to walk through customs without any officers being present when the Thomas Cook jet landed at Cardiff Airport on Friday (Oct 5) from the city of Antalya.
Mr Jones told The Herald: “I got off the plane and was expecting to walk straight through but then I saw that the airport was heaving with police and customs officers. My heart sank, but I could not panic – you have to act calm and await your fate.”
“The first thing is collecting your luggage – my bag was loaded with fags, packed – but my luggage did not appear on the conveyor. Everyone had got their bags and left the airport but mine was nowhere to be seen. It took almost for an hour for my bag to come out, and it was at that point I knew something was up.
“When I got to the customs officers they knew already – ‘What’s in the bag, Sir?’ they said”
Mr Jones was lucky – he had his duty-free’s confiscated and did not face any further penalty – but it could have been a lot worse.

It is estimated that half of smokers have used illicit tobacco…

READ MORE IN THE HERALD ON FRIDAY

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Alec Don resigns as Chief Executive of Port Authority

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MILFORD HAVEN PORT AUTHORITY has confirmed that Alec Don, Chief Executive, is ‘stepping down’ from the role.

The Port said that with the support of a great team Alec has set a vision for the business, securing planning consents for the development of Milford Waterfront and establishing Pembroke Dock Marine as a core component of the Swansea Bay City Deal.

In a statement the Port said: “The business has been shepherded through some challenging times, with the closure of Murco, but it has a strong balance sheet and is now more than ready to proceed with a phase of substantial investment and growth.”

Commenting on the resignation Chris Martin, Chairman of the Port, said: “Alec is a person of the highest integrity and is one of the Port’s and the region’s greatest advocates.  We have in front of us a fantastic opportunity to develop the Port’s position in some exciting new markets and this change gives us the opportunity to refresh and develop our skill sets to take the organisation forward into the next phase of its development.  For his part Alec has himself expressed the wish to seek new and fresh challenges.  I personally have greatly enjoyed working with him and we all wish him well for the future.”

Alec Don said in an official statement: “It has been nothing but a privilege and honour to work for the Port of Milford Haven and I most genuinely wish the Board and all colleagues at the Port every success going forward.  For my part I feel more than ready for a new challenge and look forward to the future with relish.”

The Port said they would not comment further on the development.

Alec Don has been the Chief Executive of the Port since 2010.

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Mount Estate: Man arrested after gas explosion threat

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Armed police: In the Mount Estate (pic. Herald)

ARMED POLICE have arrested a man on the Mount Estate in Milford Haven this afternoon (Oct 16) after responding to reports of a man who is threatening to set a fire using the gas supply in his flat.

The windows of the first floor flat, in Birch Mead, were smashed and a man was shouting to officers below threatening to cause an explosion.

Threatening: To cause an explosion (pic. Herald)

A Herald reporter at the scene had counted at least a dozen Dyfed-Powys Police vehicles, including vans and undercover cars.

Nearby residents have been evacuated and a cordon has been set up.

Emergency services: Gathered by the flat (pic. Herald)

Police asked residents and a Herald reporter at the scene to move back further after the arrival of the armed officers.

Mid & West Wales Fire and Rescue, as well as specialists from the gas board, are also at the scene.

Watching: Locals were evacuated (pic. Herald)

A large crowd has gathered by the cordon.

MORE TO FOLLOW.

Armed officers: Locals were asked to move back upon their arrival (pic. Herald)

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Work goes on for NRW in aftermath of storm

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AFTER a weekend of heavy rain and floods which hit South West Wales particularly hard, the clear up has begun.

For Natural Resources Wales officers this means inspecting flood defences and other assets to assess and repair any damage caused by the high river levels and volumes of water.

Jeremy Parr, NRW Head of Flood and Incident Risk Management said:

“Our sympathies go out to anybody impacted by these floods and Storm Callum, it is an unwelcome reminder of the damage that severe weather can do.

“While some communities were significantly affected, for many the flood defences did their job and reduced the worst of the impacts.

The weekend storm caused 80 properties to flood across south west Wales and led to major disruption of businesses and transport across the whole of the country.

The River Teifi at Llandysul reached its highest level since records began in 1971 and the Towey above Carmarthen was at its highest since 1987.

NRW officers were on duty around the clock ensuring defence structures were sound, operating flood gates, erecting temporary defences and clearing trash screens.

In Abergwili, in the Tywi Valley, the flood gates were closed and prevented flooding despite the water level rising to within 180mm of the top of the gate, just short of the evacuation trigger of 150mm.

More people than ever visited NRW’s website to check the latest flood warning information. Before and during Storm Callum NRW’s flood pages received more than half a million-page views, while warning and informing messages on social media reached over 110,000 people.

Jeremy added: “After any major flooding event there are lessons to be learned and Storm Callum is no exception, so we will review what took place and how we responded to identify where improvements can be made.

“As is usual after any flood event, we now have our people out and about checking our defences for any damage, and to ensure they can continue to help protect people and property.”

“We won’t just look at the flood defence network, but also at our incident response and our warning and informing before, during and after the incident.

“While there were significant impacts in some areas, the initial indications are that these elements worked well.

“We will be working with our partners in local government and the emergency services to ensure we continue where possible to reduce the impacts of incidents like this.”

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