A factory worker who hid bags containing 35,000 illicit cigarettes and tobacco down an embankment after a motorway crash has been sentenced to a community payback order.
Ayub Said, 41, was caught following a crash involving his car and an HGV on the M74 near Abington, South Lanarkshire, on September 9 2018.
HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) said that while police and the ambulance service were on their way to the scene, Said climbed out of the driver’s side window of his car and carried laundry bags and cardboard boxes down the embankment.
When they arrived, officers searched the area and discovered the bags and boxes containing 99.5kg of tobacco and 35,000 cigarettes about five metres down the embankment.
The case was referred to HMRC investigators and Said, from Coventry, was charged with evasion of £32,396 of excise duty, and the goods were seized.
HMRC said he pleaded guilty to excise duty fraud on March 10 this year at Lanark Sheriff Court.
At the same court on Wednesday, he was sentenced to a community payback order of 260 hours of unpaid work, to be completed within 12 months, and a restriction of liberty order which requires him to stay at home between 7pm and 7am for four months.