A SEAHAM smuggler has been sentenced after more than £50,000 of cigarettes and tobacco were found in a storage container.
Two units were searched and a total of 72 kilos of tobacco and 176,000 cigarettes which duty hadn’t been paid on were discovered. One of the units was linked to Ronald Allinson, from Heathway, Seaham.
He was jailed for 10 months, suspended for one year, at Newcastle Crown Court for fraudulent evasion of excise duty.
The units were searched after Thomas Griffiths, from Spennymoor, was stopped in Thinford, County Durham, in May 2012 by police with 40 kilos of illegal tobacco in his car.
Griffiths was arrested and officers from HMRC launched an investigation.
Griffiths, of Durham Street, was jailed for 10 months for fraudulent evasion of excise duty.
The excise duty and VAT evaded on the 112 kilos of tobacco and 176,000 cigarettes was £54,564.
Diane Donnelly, assistant director, Criminal Investigation, HMRC, said: “HMRC is determined to clamp down on those individuals who continue to flood local communities with illegal tobacco.”