Lifestyle of 'zero
income' smuggler revealed
A tobacco smuggler who lived a rich
lifestyle despite appearing to have no legitimate source of income, has been
ordered to repay £64,000 after an investigation by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).
Nicholas Todd, 61, was ordered to pay back the money he stole from Taxpayers
following an in depth financial investigation; after he was jailed for
tobacco smuggling offences earlier this year.
Zoe Ellerbeck, Assistant Director, Criminal Investigation, HMRC, said:-
"For someone who travelled extensively and lived abroad, HMRC have shown
that Todd had no legitimate source of income and the judge accepted that
this lifestyle was funded largely by Tax evasion and crime. We are
determined to recover stolen Taxes for such crimes. Tobacco fraud costs
honest Taxpayers more than £2.1 billion a year, undercutting honest
businesses, and drawing people into wider criminality. Anyone with
information about illicit tobacco sales or smuggling should contact the
Customs' Hotline on:- 0800 59 5000."
Todd was caught smuggling tobacco on several occasions at Manchester Airport
and in an attempt to bring cash back to the UK Todd had it hidden in his
Following his conviction, HMRC focused on
his lifestyle which included expensive purchases including a property and a
speed boat in Spain and cash held in multiple foreign bank accounts
totalling £340,000. HMRC were able to trace bank accounts in the UK, Spain
He was ordered to repay £64,000 within 3 months or face a further 12 months
in jail if he does not pay back the stolen Tax by the deadline issued by the
Manchester Crown Court.
HMRC told us that:- "Nicholas Peter Todd, DOB 17/08/54, from
Javea, Alicante (previously of Knutsford, Cheshire), was ordered to repay
£64,000 (available assets) within 3 months or serve 12 months in jail. The
judge ruled that Todd had benefited by £341,220 from Tax evasion and crime
and the repayment order is for the full amount."
HMRC had given evidence to the Court of his lifestyle
► Between January 2009 and July 2014, £266,764 cash deposited to his
► €2296 and £960 in cash hidden in his suitcase lining seized at
► €318, 952 transferred to his Spanish bank account.
► $40,877 transferred to his USA bank account.
► Details of the purchase of his home in Alicante, Spain (currently
valued at £285,000).
► €24,000 purchase of a Cobrey 260 SC cruiser
motor boat in Spain.
Todd was involved in multiple smuggling attempts including:-
► 10 January 2014: he abandoned a suitcase on the baggage carousel at
Manchester airport which contained 16 kilos of tobacco and 2,200 cigarettes.
► 23 January 2014: he was stopped by Border Force at Manchester
airport and his baggage was found to contain 10 kilos of tobacco and 1,400
► 5 September 2014: he was intercepted by Border Force at Manchester
airport and his baggage contained 2.5 kilos of tobacco and 1,800 cigarettes.
HMRC also added:- "During the investigation, we had seized multiple
mobile phones and diaries from Todd which detailed his extensive smuggling
He was jailed for 8 months, at
Manchester Crown Court, on 23 January 2015. He pleaded guilty in December
2014, at Stockport Magistrates Court, to 2 separate offences involving the
fraudulent evasion of £50,713 UK excise duty and VAT under section 170 of
the Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA) 1979.
As of yet there is no appeal against
default jail sentences issued in confiscation orders and the order for
repayment remains in place after the default sentence is served by the