Driver who smuggled 5m cigarettes is jailed

Martin Halfpenny,Press Association
Thursday 24 June 2010 17:11 BST

A lorry driver, who illegally imported 5.4 million cigarettes into the UK hidden in apple boxes, was jailed for two years and eight months today, HM Revenue and Customs said.

Hungarian Norbert Dusnoki, 30, pleaded guilty at Portsmouth Crown Court to fraudulently evading £1 million in revenue on the smuggled goods.

Regal and Superkings brand cigarettes were discovered in fruit boxes, hidden beneath a layer of boxes actually containing apples.

The lorry had arrived at Portsmouth Ferry Port by ferry from Caen, France, on April 10 this year, the court heard.

John Cooper, HMRC assistant director criminal investigation, said: "Hiding the cigarettes beneath a load of apples was a blatant attempt to evade duty and deprive the UK of public funds.

"Legitimate retailers would have had their trade undercut had the cigarettes reached the UK's streets.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in