Cigarette Smuggler Sentenced

A man has been given a suspended sentence after being found guilty of trying to smuggle more than a million branded cigarettes into the UK through Dover.

David Andrew Pollitt will have to do 280 hours of community service as part of his sentence, pay costs of £1,000 and must wear an electronic tag during a four month curfew.

The 26 year old from Doncaster was arrested after UK Border Agency officials stopped a lorry which had just arrived on a ferry from Calais. The lorry was searched and 1.15m cigarettes were discovered hidden inside boxes of pillows inside.

Forensic tests proved that Pollitt was involved in packing the haul, as his fingerprints were found on the boxes containing the cigarettes as well as on the cartons of cigarettes themselves.

The driver of the lorry was found not guilty.

Martin Brown, Assistant Director of Criminal Investigation for HMRC said: "This man (Pollitt) was deliberately involved with the attempt to smuggle these cigarettes into the UK to evade the duty payable, without consideration for the devastating effect this type of crime has on legitimate tobacco retailers.

"The duty evaded deprives the UK economy of much needed funds for public services. I strongly urge anyone with information about this type of crime to contact the Customs Hotline on 0800 59 5000 or email customs.hotline@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk."

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