Home   Dover   News   Article

Millions of cigarettes hidden - in a load of mushrooms!

Two men have each been jailed for five years for smuggling more than 7.2 million counterfeit cigarettes in a load of mushrooms.

Lorry driver Denis Bugler and haulage boss Conor Caherty, both from Ireland, had denied evading over £1 million in excise duty but were convicted by a jury.

Maidstone Crown Court heard customs officers searched the truck and discovered the illicit cargo.

Bugler arrived at Dover Docks in October 2007 on a Norfolk Line ferry from Dunkirk in France.

Hugh Forgan, prosecuting, said paperwork indicated the driver had picked up a load of mushrooms in Liege, Belgium, destined for Manchester, but both addresses were false.

"Customs officers examined it and it did indeed contain mushrooms," he said. "But behind them was the real cargo - a little over seven million counterfeit cigarettes."

It was also discovered that Bugler had tampered with the lorry's tachograph, which details the journey.

Judge Martin Joy told Bugler, 43, of Ogennelloe, County Clare, and 30-year-old Caherty, of Newtownhamilton, Northern Ireland, it was plainly a professional and carefully planned scheme.

"It has to be made clear that those who commit this sort of offence, particularly to this degree, commit an extremely serious offence and only a custodial sentence can be justified," he added.

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More