HMRC nabs cigarette-smuggling driver

A man has been jailed for attempting to smuggle more than eight million cigarettes into the UK.

Stewart Grainger was arrested after HMRC caught him unloading cigarettes that were bought in Kuala Lumpur, worth £1.75m in unpaid excise duty and VAT, at an industrial unit in Ripley. When officers from Derbyshire Police raided the unit Grainger fled but he was arrested five days later. Stuart Taylor, assistant director, Fraud Investigation Service, HMRC, said, “This type of criminal activity harms the livelihoods of honest shopkeepers, but disrupting criminal trade is at the heart of our strategy to clampdown on the illicit tobacco market, which costs the UK around £2bn a year.“This shipment alone would have evaded £1.75m in revenue, much needed money that should be funding public services, not lining the pockets of a few criminals. Don't let them profit – report it.” Grainger, a lorry driver, was found guilty of the fraudulent evasion of excise duty after an earlier trial and was sentenced to four years at Nottingham Crown Court.