Clear The Air News Tobacco Blog Rotating Header Image

Five Years For Cigarette Smuggler

BBC News – February 4, 2008

A lorry driver has been jailed for five years for attempting to smuggle almost eight million illegal cigarettes into the UK through Immingham docks.

Egidijus Navalinskas, 42, of Lithuania, was sentenced at Hull Crown Court after a 10-month investigation by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) officers.

They found 7.7m cigarettes in a cargo of frozen blackcurrants when he came to Immingham from Denmark in April 2007.

The duty lost on the cigarretes was estimated at £10m, the court heard.

In sentencing Recorder Ekins said: “The figures involved are vast, on one count alone the duty evaded is £1.2m.

“The offences are aggravated by the repeat imports and the complex and sophisticated operation of which you are a part.

“Without you this operation would not have been possible.

“You are a trusted driver, relied upon to do the organisation’s bidding and no other sentence but a custodial one can be passed to act as a deterrent to others.”

John Kinghorn, from HMRC, said: “This was a sophisticated attempt to flood our streets with illegal counterfeit cigarettes.

“People offered cheap fags are not getting the bargain that they think they are but an un-regulated product that can contain harmful chemicals.

“They are also damaging the local economy by removing the local shopkeepers’ livelihood.

“This sentence sends out a strong message to those involved in this illegal trade.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>