Published: 00:00, 25 October 2016 |
Updated: 11:33, 26 October 2016
A lorry driver was caught smuggling 2.6 million fake cigarettes into the UK, hidden behind boxes of rotten apples.
Officers discovered the load, worth £655,327, after Polish Pawel Michal Maroszek, 32, was stopped by Border Force officials in Dover.
Maroszek has now been jailed for 21 months.
The illicit L&M King Size cigarettes were found surrounded by pallets of rotten apples in May this year.
Maroszek had previously pleaded not guilty to the crime, but changed his plea to guilty before his trial started at Maidstone Crown Court yesterday.
Alan Tully from HM Revenues and Customs said after the case: "Maroszek thought the cigarettes were well concealed within the load of rotten apples and wouldn’t be discovered. But he was wrong and he is now paying for his crime.
"We continue to work with other enforcement agencies to reduce the availability of illicit tobacco, which costs the UK around £2 billion a year in stolen revenue.
"Don’t let criminals profit by undermining legitimate retailers.
"Anyone with information about the smuggling or illegal sale of tobacco can report it by calling our 24-hour Hotline on 0800 59 5000."
In the last two years alone, more than 3.5 billion illicit cigarettes and over 599 tonnes of hand-rolling tobacco have been seized resulting in 848 prosecutions.
Every morning at 10am we play you an hour of tunes from the 90s. We call it, #WeLoveThe90s.
Play 'Say It' with Garry and Laura on kmfm Breakfast and you could win £1,000!
Wake up to kmfm Breakfast with Garry and Laura - it's Kent's alarm call.
Your No1 guide to getting married in Kent. From dresses to discos and venues to veils, we've got everything you could possibly need for your big day
Education, Training & Childcare is a special supplement published by KM Media Group four times a year. Click here for latest e-edition.
A guide for your future. For year 11 students in Kent and Medway. Click here for the e-edition.
Get the latest food and drink news, recipes from some of the nation's top chefs plus updates from Kent's vineyards and breweries.
Search in your local area to find your perfect partner in Kent, with FreshStart Dating!
PLUS, register for free!.
Read our pick of the best holiday destinations. Whether its a weekend break, or something a little bit longer, we have reviewed a wide range of holidays.