Smuggler from Newington Green who stashed tonne of illegal tobacco in storage depot spared jail
- Credit: HMRC
A smuggler from Newington Green who ran an illegal tobacco factory out of a cabin in east London has been spared jail.
Kwai Choi Man, of Queen Margaret’s Grove, stashed away 1.1 tonnes of tobacco worth £166,000 in unpaid duty in containers rented under the name George.
The 64-year-old paid in cash and left no contact details with the depot in Poplar but was eventually tracked down by tax inspectors who caught him loading his Mercedes with the illicit goods.
Officers from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) found fake branded tobacco pouches and processing and manufacturing plane hidden behind the cabin.
Man on Thursday received a 15-month sentence, suspended for two years, at Snaresbrook Crown Court after pleading guilty to evading excise duty.
The court also imposed a nine-month curfew, between 7pm and 7am.
“Man thought he was above the law by attempting to flood the market with his illicit, smuggled tobacco, denying a living for decent, hard-working retailers,” said Brett Wilkinson, assistant director of the taxman’s fraud investigation service.