A haulage company boss who was caught smuggling 2,000kg of hand-rolling tobacco into the UK, evading £442,360 in duty, has been jailed for 18 months.
Border Force officers stopped a truck at Dover on 12 September last year. Officers searched the trailer and found tobacco hidden in boxes marked “tents”. The driver, Attila Tanko, 44, from Hungary, was arrested, the tobacco seized and the matter referred to HMRC.
Tanko, owner of the Hungary-based Chariots of Fire KFT haulage company, claimed he was “tapped up” at a rest stop in Luxembourg by a man who asked him to deliver the tobacco in exchange for €2,000. He pleaded guilty on 13 September and was sentenced on 17 December at Maidstone Crown Court.
Paul Morgan, director of Border Force, South East and Europe, said: “This is just one example of the crucial work that Border Force officers do every day to help keep the UK safe and protect the economy. Detections such as this are testament to their dedication and expertise.
“We will continue to work with HMRC to bring those engaged in smuggling to justice.”