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Crooked shopkeeper ordered to pay back £61,000

John Wood ·
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A fraudster who was jailed for selling illegal cigarettes from his Wolverhampton shop has been told to pay back £61,000 or face an additional year behind bars.

Arkani Muradi, 37, of Highfield Road, Birmingham, was caught hiding almost 400,000 cigarettes behind false walls, under floorboards, beneath a fridge and in a hole in a wall, by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) investigators in March, 2015.

He was jailed in June 2017 for two years and two months for evading £58,675 in tax, and has now been ordered to pay back £61,022 within three months or he will face another year in jail and still owe the money when released.

During the investigation Muradi claimed to be a sales assistant and not the owner of his Euro Shop, in New Hampton Road West, Wolverhampton. He also gave a false name when officers raided his shop and a storage unit he had hired using an alias.

HMRC officers, working with Trading Standards, also recovered 36 kilograms of hand-rolling tobacco and 195 bottles of alcohol.

Debbie Porter, assistant director, Fraud Investigation Service, HMRC, said: “Muradi tried to conceal illegal cigarettes in every possible hiding place of his shop then desperately tried to lie his way out. This case should serve as a warning to others involved in the illegal cigarette trade.

“The trade in illicit cigarettes takes funding away from essential public services, undermines legitimate traders and often funds further organised crime. I would urge anyone with any information about this type of criminality to contact our Fraud Hotline on 0800 788887.”

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Weekly retail fuel prices: 15 October 2018
RegionDieselLPGSuper ULUL
East137.1471.90142.30132.11
East Midlands136.69142.73131.36
London136.9366.90143.19132.09
North East136.1967.90145.04130.96
North West136.57142.32130.88
Northern Ireland135.50139.57130.71
Scotland136.74140.36131.39
South East137.4657.70143.03132.35
South West136.76141.73131.99
Wales136.5779.90137.82131.35
West Midlands136.16141.67131.24
Yorkshire & Humber135.8963.90142.13130.81

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