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Two men arrested in £840000 tax fraud

A warehouse in Sandbach was used as a distribution hub by international cigarette smugglers in an ?840,000 tax fraud. In July 2016 as part of an investigation by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), officers observed a suspicious delivery at the site on Millbuck Way when a heavy goods vehicle arrived towing a curtain-sided trailer. The HGV reversed up to the unit at the Springvale Industrial Estate.

HMRC officers caught Hadayatullah Meahrabi, 20, from Croydon, and Willem Peele, 56, from Holland, in the middle of unloading more than three million smuggled illegal cigarettes from the HGV.

Hadayatullah Meahrabi, 20, from CroydonWillem Peele

Further illegal cigarettes were found intentionally hidden behind boxes of ice-cream cones and biscuits in the unit.

After their arrest at the rented warehouse, the two Dutch nationals were remanded into custody and after pleading guilty to tax fraud were jailed for a total of five years at Chester Crown Court on Thursday February 24.

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