Redruth men sentenced for evading almost £61,000 of duty on illicit tobacco
Two men from Redruth have been given suspended prison sentences for evading more than £60,000 of excise duty on 371 kgs of illicit hand rolling tobacco.
Anthony Mutton, 54, and Lindsey Mayne, 56, were arrested after HMRC officers stopped their white van and found 160kgs of tobacco and more than £200 in cash.
Both men's home addresses were searched and a further 190 kgs of tobacco was found in the garage at Mayne's North Country home, and 21 kgs in his bedroom.
Mutton, of Paynter's Lane End, Illogan, pleaded guilty to two counts of evading duty when he appeared at Truro Crown Court on January 25.
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He was sentenced to 20 weeks for each offence, to run concurrently, suspended for two years.
He must complete 150 hours of community service and pay £300 prosecution costs.
Mayne pleaded guilty to one offence at the same court and to another on February 27.
He was sentenced to ten weeks and 20 weeks, to run concurrently, suspended for two years.
He must pay £1,500 in prosecution costs and has a 7pm to 7am curfew for four months.
Simon De-Kayne, HMRC assistant director criminal investigation, said: "These men were caught with a large quantity of illicit hand rolling tobacco which is believed to have been destined for the streets and bars of Cornwall.
"This type of crime not only undermines legitimate retailers who have to compete with illegal imports, but also costs the UK economy around £2billion a year.
"Anyone with information about such criminal activity should contact the Customs' hotline on 0800 59 5000."
The seized tobacco has been burned.