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The Independent Online
Members of a gang which smuggled alcohol worth millions of pounds into Britain for sale in London cash-and-carry shops were sentenced yesterday. Under the leadership of a former miner, the men operated a commercial scam involving 50 hired vans and several seven-tonne lorries. Over a nine-month period the gang, known as the Libyans, imported alcohol, particularly high-strength lagers, worth pounds 4m. The total amount of beer and wine duty evaded between April and December 1994 was pounds 2m.

Ten men who admitted evading duty received sentences ranging from 120 hours' community service to 30-month jail terms when they appeared before Maidstone Crown Court in Kent. Four other gang members who had denied the charge and were tried last month were also found guilty. Two of them received nine-month and 18-month jail terms while the remaining two will be sentenced on 4 July.

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