Warrant issued for truck driver who smuggled cigarettes

HMRC is on the hunt for a driver who has been given a prison sentence following an attempt to smuggle 5.7 million cigarettes into the UK in a truck.

Bawtry, South Yorkshire-based Richard Curtis skipped bail ahead of a trial that saw him found guilty of evading more than £1.3m in excise duty.

In November 2013 his truck was stopped by Border Force in Dover after disembarking from a ferry from Calais. Paperwork showed he was transporting a load of chips and potato waffles to a frozen food store in Warrington, but officers found 5.7m cigarettes hidden beneath the boxes.

Curtis claimed he was unaware the HGV contained the cigarettes.

On 4 January he was sentenced to three years and nine months in prison, following a four-day trial at Maidstone Crown Court. He did not attend the hearing and a warrant has been issued for his arrest.