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Lorry driver Iosif Neuschli jailed after smuggling 1.5 tonnes of tobacco into Dover

A lorry driver caught smuggling one-and-a-half tonnes of tobacco into the UK has been jailed.

Iosif Neuschli, 48, of Baia Mare, Romania, was stopped by Border Force officers at Dover Eastern Docks on June 8 this year.

He told officers the lorry he was driving contained cat food. In fact the lorry’s trailer unit contained five pallets loaded with 1,500 kilos of Turner hand-rolling tobacco.

Dover Eastern Docks
Dover Eastern Docks

Neuschli pleaded guilty to the fraudulent evasion of excise duty at Maidstone Crown Court, and was jailed immediately for 18 months.

The court heard the driver would have evaded nearly £300,000 in excise duty if he hadn't been caught.

Alan Tully, assistant director at HMRC's fraud investigation service said: “Neuschli thought he could get away with smuggling illegal tobacco into the UK and is now paying the price for his criminal actions.

“Tobacco smuggling robs communities of vital public funds and harms the livelihood of legitimate retailers.

"We encourage anyone with information regarding the smuggling, storage or sale of illegal tobacco to contact the Customs Hotline on 0800 59 5000.”

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