3 members of a family arriving back in Birmingham Airport have been arrested for trying to smuggle cigarettes through the airport.
The family used 15 suitcases in an attempt to transport the tobacco products, which resulted in each of them receiving suspended sentences following an investigation by HM Revenue and Customs.
Back in May 2018; Juned Ahmed, his wife, Shalma Khanom and Syeda Begum were stopped returning from a 3 day trip back from Dubai. They were challenged when walking through the ‘Nothing to Declare’ channel, and at that moment investigators searched the bags and found thousands of non-duty Benson and Hedges cigarettes.
An HMRC spokesperson said:
“People like Ahmed, Khanom and Begum deprive our public services of vital funding. This was a blatant attempt to smuggle cigarettes into the UK and it would have cost taxpayers thousands of pounds in lost revenue.
“HMRC works with partners to tackle the illicit tobacco trade and anyone who thinks they can smuggle cigarettes into the UK and gain an unfair advantage over legitimate, law-abiding cigarette sellers who are paying the tax they owe.
“We ask anyone with information about any tax fraud to report to HMRC online or call our Fraud Hotline on 0800 788 887.”
Each of the 3 pleaded guilty to charges at Birmingham Crown Court on July 31st 2019, and each received 16 month custodial sentence, suspended for two years.
Are you unsure on what the current UK Duty Free limits are?
Make sure to check out the Duty Free page on each of our guides to see exactly what quantities you can bring back from your travels from various countries around the world.