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Prison sentence for men who smuggled cigarettes in truck

Two men have been sent to prison for a total of five years after they attempted to smuggle more than three million cigarettes into the UK in an HGV. HMRC officers observed Dutch nationals Hadayatullah Meahrabi and Willem Peele unloading the cigarettes at a warehouse on the Springvale Industrial Estate in Sandbach, Cheshire, in July 2016. Further illegal cigarettes were found hidden behind boxes of ice cream cones and biscuits inside the warehouse.

HMRC said that the men avoided duty of ?837,371.59 by bringing the cigarettes into the UK illegally.They were remanded into custody after their arrest at the rented warehouse. The men pleaded guilty to fraudulent evasion of Excise Duty under the Customs and Excise Management Act at Chester Crown Court on 24 February. Meahrabi, of Croydon, was sentenced to two years in prison.

Peele, of Utrecht, Holland, was given a three-year prison sentence.

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