Prison sentence for driver who tried to hide tobacco in boxes

 

A Lithuanian HGV driver who hid half a tonne of tobacco among a load of boxes filled with plastic waste, disguised to look like a legitimate cargo, has been sent to prison for 15 months.

Border Force officers discovered six pallets of non-duty paid tobacco in the truck at Dover Eastern Docks on 28 October.

Driver Vilmantas Mikalajunas, who used false import papers in an attempt to smuggle the tobacco into the UK, was found to have evaded £108,346 in excise duty by HMRC.

Mikalajunas, from  Mikoliskis, Pakruojo, Lithuania,  pleaded guilty to evading excise duty at Maidstone Crown Court on 27 November and was immediately sent to prison.

Tim Clarke, assistant director at the Fraud Investigation Service at HMRC, said: “Mikalajunas must have hoped that the hidden tobacco would go undetected within the consignment. But his smuggling attempt, false paperwork and sham cargo were discovered and he’s now paying the price with a jail term.”