Three men, who were caught supplying or receiving almost half a million smuggled cigarettes in Surrey, have been sentenced for evading more than £115,000 in excise duty.
One of the men, Dominik Mrzyglod, 38, was jailed for four years earlier this year for his role in this crime, and for a separate offence of smuggling 1.2 million cigarettes inside table tops.
HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) investigators saw Mrzyglod and Sebastian Swiezy, 36, supplying non-UK duty paid cigarettes to Abdul Faki, 52, at a car park in Dorking, Surrey, on 16 December 2015.
Officers arrested Faki at the scene and found 486,700 B&B cigarettes in the white van he was helping to load. The two other men fled before officers could apprehend them.
Mrzyglod was arrested at his home in Walton-on-Thames the following day. Sebastian Swiezy fled the UK for Alicante, Spain, but was arrested at Gatwick Airport in April 2016 as he arrived on a flight from Poland.
David Margree, assistant director, Fraud Investigation Service, HMRC, said: “These criminals were aiming to undercut legitimate retailers in London and the Home Counties with this large quantity of smuggled cigarettes. HMRC continues to target the supply of illicit tobacco, which costs the UK around £2.4bn a year.
“We encourage anyone with information regarding the smuggling, storage or sale of illegal tobacco to contact our fraud hotline on 0800 788 887.”
The three men pleaded guilty to the fraudulent evasion of excise duty. Dominik Mrzyglod was jailed for four years on 27 January 2017 at Blackfriars Crown Court for tobacco and cigarette smuggling.
Abdul Faki was jailed for 18 months, and Sebastian Swiezy received a 12-month jail term, suspended for two years, at Blackfriars Crown Court on Friday 9 June 2017. Swiezy must also complete 120 hours of unpaid work.