A Peterborough man, who had a link to a local shop and evaded more than £168,000 in excise duty by repeatedly peddling illicit cigarettes and tobacco around the East of England, has been jailed.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) officers uncovered 510,000 non-UK duty paid cigarettes and 24kg of hand-rolling tobacco in an unoccupied car in Peterborough in July 2014. Investigations found it belonged to Saade Jabar.

The 34-year-old was later arrested and bailed but continued dealing, with a further 150,000 illicit cigarettes and 20kg of tobacco found during searches of his home, a car and a local shop he was connected to, between September 2014 and May 2015.

On one occasion Jabar, who had already been handed a two-year prison term in 2012 for similar offences, abandoned his car of illicit goods when approached by HMRC officers, losing a shoe and dropping cigarettes as he made his escape. He was later found and re-arrested.

Jabar, who was still on prison release licence at the time of the offence in July 2014, pleaded guilty to seven counts of the fraudulent evasion of excise duty at Peterborough Crown Court. He was sentenced to two years and eight months in jail.