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A haulage company owner from Gillingham has been jailed for three and a half years, for trying to smuggle almost 3.2 million cigarettes into the UKthrough Dover and evading more than £500,000 in duty.
56 year old Mamode Rafiq Allyman was arrested in July 2009, after being stopped by UK Border Agency officials as he arrived on a ferry from Calais.
They searched his lorry and discovered 1,888,800 'Raquel' and 1,307,600 'Gold Classic' branded cigarettes in shrink wrapped brown boxes in the back.
Allyman initially told officers that he had loaded the trailer in Holland, but one the cigarettes were discovered he said he had travelled to Calais and swapped trailers with one of his drivers who had collected a load from Holland.
Bob Gaiger regional spokesman for HMRC said: ”HMRC works with UKBA to identify and prosecute those who attempt to smuggle cigarettes into the UK. Cigarette smuggling is not a victimless crime and we will not hesitate to pursue those responsible.
"It costs the UK millions of pounds in lost revenue each year, money that could be used to fund vital public services.
Anyone with information about the importation or sale of smuggled tobacco should call the Customs’ Hotline on 0800 59 5000."