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Weekly Edition - Publication date:- 2017-02-28

-en Southport & Mersey Reporter

Local News Report  - Mobile Page


2 men jailed in ₤840k smuggling fraud

2 Investigations by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) have found that a warehouse in Sandbach was used as a distribution hub by international cigarette smugglers in an ₤840,000 Tax fraud.

HMRC officers observed a suspicious delivery at the Millbuck Way site when a heavy goods vehicle (HGV) arrived towing a curtain sided trailer and reversed up to the unit at the Springvale Industrial Estate in July 2016.

The HMRC officers caught Hadayatullah Meahrabi, 20, from Croydon, and Willem Peele, 56, from Holland, in the middle of unloading more than 3,000,000 smuggled illegal cigarettes from the HGV.

Further illegal cigarettes were found intentionally hidden behind boxes of ice cream cones and biscuits within the unit.

After their arrest at the rented warehouse, the 2 Dutch nationals were remanded into custody and after pleading guilty to Tax fraud and jailed for a total of 5 years, at Chester Crown Court, on 23 February 2017.

HMRC seized a total of 3,289,160 illegal cigarettes in the unit and trailer which included:-

 190,000 counterfeit Lambert and Butler cigarettes.
 1,200,000 Jims Filter King cigarettes. (Not sold in the UK)
 909,160 Richman cigarettes.
 990,000 Gold Classics cigarettes. (Not sold in the UK)

The duty evasion on the cigarettes is ₤837,371.59!


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