Belfast Telegraph

Cigarette smuggler caught twice in year caged

A man caught delivering more than one million counterfeit cigarettes to a car park in Belfast has been jailed for excise duty fraud.

Patrick Corrigan (62), Commons Road, Drumiskin, Co Louth, was arrested by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) officers after the van he was driving was stopped by police on the A1 in July 2012.

The van and 1.1m cigarettes, worth an estimated £280,649 in evaded excise duty and VAT, were seized.

Corrigan was arrested again in November 2012, while attempting to smuggle 100,000 cigarettes from the Republic of Ireland into Northern Ireland hidden in the back of a van.

John Whiting, assistant director, Criminal Investigation for HMRC, said: "Corrigan received cash in hand for collecting a van full of cigarettes from Jonesborough, which he planned to leave at a shopping centre car park in Belfast. He was then caught a second time.

"Tobacco smuggling is organised crime on a global scale.

"It encourages and supports criminality within our communities, robbing taxpayers of millions each year in unpaid duty and VAT.

"Anyone with information about the storage or sale of illegal tobacco should contact the Customs hotline on 0800 59 5000."

Corrigan was jailed for 12 months when he appeared at Newry Crown Court yesterday.

Belfast Telegraph

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