Man sentenced for smuggling 31,000 cigarettes into Scotland

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A Govanhill man has been sentenced for attempting to smuggle more than 30,000 illicit cigarettes through Edinburgh Airport.

Abdaid Rehman, 40, of Dixon Avenue, was stopped on August 19, 2017 with 31,400 John Player Gold Leaf cigarettes after arriving from trip to Pakistan, a HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) investigation found.

He was stopped by Border Force officers and told them he had no bags in the hold of the plane, but his boarding card stated otherwise. On the baggage reclaim belt were two bags which tallied with Rehman’s boarding pass and inside were the illegal cigarettes.

The case was referred to HMRC for investigation and Rehman admitted he knew the law on bringing cigarettes into the UK.

Rehman admitted evasion of Excise Duty at Edinburgh Sheriff Court on July 24, 2018 and was sentenced to a 120 hour unpaid work Community Payback Order (CPO) at the same court on Tuesday (21 August 2018).

Joe Hendry, assistant director, Fraud Investigation Service, HMRC, said: “Rehman knew what he was doing was illegal, yet he still tried to pocket taxpayers’ money and undermine legitimate traders.

“Working closely alongside our Border Force colleagues, disrupting criminal trade is at the heart of our strategy to clampdown on the illicit tobacco market, which costs the UK around £2.5 billion a year.

“We encourage anyone with information about the illegal sale of tobacco to contact our Fraud Hotline on 0800 788 887.”