Tobacco smuggler has Kent land seized to help meet £4m public debt

A convicted tobacco smuggler has been stripped of a prime parcel of riverside land in Kent to meet his more than £4m debt to the public purse.

Robert Doran was jailed for four and a half years in 2012 for bankrolling a large-scale cigarette smuggling operation. The Dubai-based businessman was ordered to pay £1.45m, which he then claimed was “disproportionate” and breached the European convention on human rights.

But in March 2015 the court of appeal rejected his case against the Crown Prosecution Service’s proceeds of crime unit. The judges imposed a new confiscation order of nearly £4.4m – the total benefit of the criminal enterprise – plus interest of £200,000.

The decision was upheld by the supreme court last year.