May 24 2013 Latest news:
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
A smuggler caught buying millions of cigarettes illegally has been jailed for breaking a court order.
Michael Pitt, 48, of Duncan Street, Islington, was given a nine month sentence at Blackfriars Crown Court last week for breaching a serious crime prevention order.
Pitt was initially convicted in September 2011 for buying 2.3 million cigarettes from airport duty free shops.
He served his time in jail, but on his release was banned from entering airport perimeters or having a mobile phone – but he broke both conditions.
David Margree, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) assistant director of criminal investigation, said: “The order was to prevent Pitt from re-offending and the sentence given is a warning that HMRC will pursue those who persist in breaking the law. The order included restrictions on Pitt’s presence at airports, seaports and international rail terminals, and use of mobile telephones and computers. It also said he must inform HMRC of his residential address – all of which he failed to do.”
Pitt pleaded guilty to breaching the order by failing to notify HMRC he was in possession of a mobile phone and that he had visited a UK airport at Blackfriars on March 12.
At a separate hearing in January under the proceeds of crime act he was ordered to pay back more than £36,000 within six months or serve a further 14 months in jail and still owe the money.