South Shields pair admit trying to dodge more than £11,000 tax with bootleg tobacco
Two South Shields men have admitted trying to smuggle 915 pouches of hand-rolling tobacco into the UK.
Daniel Webster, 29, of Stanhope Road, and Dean Lackland, 25, of Landseer Gardens, were caught with illegal tobacco goods worth £11,145 in unpaid duty at Newcastle Airport.
The illegal goods were discovered when Border Force officers searched their bags on arrival from Dubai into the UK on November 22.
Officers seized 45.75 kilos of Amber Leaf hand-rolling tobacco and the case was passed to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) for investigation.
Webster and Lackland admitted excise fraud at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court on April 16 and were each sentenced to 20 weeks in prison, suspended for 20 months, and 300 hours unpaid work today.
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An HMRC spokesperson said: "his was a deliberate attempt to smuggle illegal tobacco goods into the country and deprive the UK of money which should be used to fund our public services.
"HMRC will continue to pursue tobacco smugglers like Webster and Lackland who think excise fraud is acceptable.
"We encourage anyone with information about tax fraud to report it to us online, or contact our Fraud Hotline on 0800 788 887.”
Information about tax fraud can be reported to HMRC online at https://www.gov.uk/report-an-unregistered-trader-or-business.