A truck driver from Poland caught smuggling millions of cigarettes into the UK hidden inside pallets of black pudding has been sent to prison following an HMRC investigation.
Border Force officers stopped an HGV at the Port of Dover on 17 September and a search revealed 6.4 million Richmond Blue and NZ Slim cigarettes worth approximately £1.8m in lost duty. The driver, Daniel Ossowski, from Tczew, Poland, was arrested, the cigarettes seized and the matter referred to HMRC.
At Maidstone Crown Court on 16 October, Ossowski pleaded guilty to the fraudulent evasion of excise duty and was sentenced to two years and 10 months in prison. Tom Hunnisett, assistant director, fraud investigation service, HMRC, said: “Mr Ossowski was wrong to think he could get away with smuggling tobacco into the UK.
"The illegal tobacco trade has a harmful effect on legitimate businesses and deprives us of money needed to fund our vital public services.” Paul Morgan, director of Border Force South East and Europe, said: “By stopping the shipment, Border Force has starved those responsible of the proceeds of their criminality.”