Man jailed after trading illegal tobacco.

A man from Oswaldtwistle has been jailed for evading more than £2 million in taxes by trading in illegal tobacco.

49-year-old Lee Foster, of Highfield Close, was caught by HM Revenue and Customs buying illegal cigarettes and tobacco to sell on during a surveillance operation in 2014.

He was arrested at Manchester Airport just before Christmas as he flew home from a holiday in Tenerife. Today he was jailed for four years and nine months for his part in a £16.5 million Excise Duty fraud that centred on a criminal network based in Blackburn.

Detailed records kept by the gang leader, Iqbal Haji, of Blackburn, mention Foster 183 times buying illegal tobacco products to sell on during a four-year period. Sandra Smith, Assistant Director, Fraud Investigation Service, HMRC.