Imperial Tobacco has assisted Devon and Cornwall Police in securing the conviction of a prison officer who was attempting to smuggle counterfeit tobacco into HMP Dartmoor.

Daryl Keenan, from Paignton, was arrested and charged in October last year after a routine staff search while entering HMP Dartmoor – a ‘smoke free’ prison – uncovered several counterfeit 50g pouches of Golden Virginia tobacco hidden in his bag.

A member of Imperial’s Anti-Illicit Trade (AIT) team was asked by Devon and Cornwall police officers to examine the seized tobacco pouches, and confirmed they used an old pack design, false barcodes and contained tobacco which did not “look or smell” authentic.

Keenan claimed he was selling the tobacco to fellow officers at the prison, but magistrates did not believe his explanation and found him guilty of intending to supply counterfeit tobacco to prison inmates. He was fined £180 plus court costs and victim surcharges, and faces dismissal from HMP Dartmoor for gross misconduct.

Peter Nelson, Imperial Tobacco anti-illicit trade manager, commented: “We congratulate Devon and Cornwall Police on the positive outcome of this case and are pleased to have been of value in supporting their investigation.

“This latest example of collaborative working is just one of the wide range of areas where Imperial Tobacco’s AIT team lends its support to law enforcement partners, and enables them to successfully discharge their responsibilities.”