Sunderland tobacco smugglers must cough up £17,000

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TWO Wearside welders have been ordered to forfeit more than £17,000 of their ill-gotten gains after smuggling tobacco into the UK.

Brian Metcalf, 52, and Scott Metcalf, 23, were working for a ferry company when their truck was stopped while leaving Hull port in August last year.

UK Border Agency officers found 182.5kg of hand-rolling tobacco in a wooden box and in the space above the cab.

When questioned, both men admitted to buying quantities of the tobacco.

They were both sentenced to 180 hours’ community service at Newcastle Crown Court in July this year.

The potential loss on duty evaded was £29,950.

Now Scott Metcalf, of Orkney Drive, Sunderland, has been ordered to pay £2,500 to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) within six months or face the prospect of being jailed for 45 days.

Brian Metcalf, of Ailesbury Street, Sunderland, has been ordered to pay £14,945 within 12 months or risk being jailed for eight months.

Dave Cowie, assistant director of criminal investigation at the HMRC, said: “We are determined to tackle the ongoing problem of illicit tobacco sales.

“The evasion of excise duty is a criminal offence.”