Sunderland ciggie smuggler ordered to pay back Â£8,000
A cigarette smuggler from Sunderland has been ordered to pay thousand of pounds in profits he made from a bootleg tobacco haul.
Customs officials found 116,000 counterfeit cigarettes and 24 kilos of rolling tobacco when they raided QC space in Sunderland last March.
Newcastle Crown Court heard the duty evaded on the illegal haul was £33,000.
David Scott, 62, of Queen Alexander Road, Sunderland and Thomas Corner, 68, of Mony Terrace, Bishop Aukland were both given suspended sentences in January
for their involvement in the enterprise.
The pair were back in court today where judge Robert Adams ordered each man, under the Proceeds of Crime Act, to pay back every penny in profit they made - or face going to jail.
Judge Adams told them: "In both cases the benefit figure was £7,977. Your available assets exceed that amount so the confiscation figure in both cases therefore is £7,977.
"You must each pay that amount within the next three months. If it is not paid, there is a period of four months custody in default."
David Sillett, 61, of Simonside Road, Sunderland, admitted minor involvement in the scam, relating to just one day, and also received a suspended sentence at the hearing in January.
The court heard he has no available assets to be seized and the Proceeds of Crime Application in his case was dropped.
All three had admitted being concerned in duty evasion at the previous hearing.
The court heard despite their confessions of involvement, the details of the illegal enterprise remain unclear and it is uncertain where the tobacco came from or where its intended destination was.
The trio have no criminal records, all have family and personal commitments and were able to provide references to their normally positive characters.
At the earlier hearing Scott, who leased the unit, to 10 months imprisonment, suspended for 15 months, with supervison and 200 hours unpaid work.
Corner was sentenced to eight months, suspended for 12 months, with 160 hours unpaid work.
Sillett was sentenced to eight months imprisonment, suspended for 12 months, with supervision and a four month, night time, curfew.