Home   Dover   News   Article

Mariusz Glineck, of Miedzychod, Poland, jailed for smuggling 5 million cigarettes through Dover in false washing machines

By Sam Lennon

A lorry driver who smuggled more than 5 million cigarettes inside false washing machines into the UK has been jailed.

The machines had no working parts but were made to look real, with fake control panels and energy efficiency certificates.

Border Force officers stopped the vehicle at the Port of Dover and a search of the trailer revealed 5.3 million Mayfair cigarettes, worth almost £1.6 million in lost duty.

One of the commercial washing machines. Picture courtesy of HM Revenue & Customs
One of the commercial washing machines. Picture courtesy of HM Revenue & Customs
This doesn't wash. The inside of a machine where a drum should be. Picture courtesy of HM Revenue & Customs
This doesn't wash. The inside of a machine where a drum should be. Picture courtesy of HM Revenue & Customs

They were concealed within 16 fake commercial washing machines.

Now Mariusz Glineck has been jailed for two years and eight months.

He was sentenced at Maidstone Crown Court on Wednesday .

Glineck had been stopped on September 27 last hear, arrested and HM Revenue and Customs investigated.

He was a bus driver who began working as a lorry driver this January.

He said he picked up the fully loaded lorry at a petrol station in Slubice, Poland, and was due to make the delivery to an address in Newark, Nottinghamshire.

Left in spin - Mariusz Glineck Picture courtesy of HM Revenue & Customs
Left in spin - Mariusz Glineck Picture courtesy of HM Revenue & Customs

Glineck, 51, of the town of Miedzychod in Poland, had on November 9 pleaded guilty to fraudulent evasion of excise duty contrary to S170 (2) Customs and Excise Management Act 1979.

The estimated duty evaded was £1,598,378 on 5,384,600 cigarettes.

On sentencing, His Honour Judge Huseyin said: “The reality of duty evasion is a large amount of money due to go in to the public purse goes in to the hands of criminals.

“As such it is not a victimless crime, one has to think of the nurse’s salaries that £1.5m would pay. That is why courts take duty evasion so seriously."

The cigarette haul. Picture courtesy of HM Revenue & Customs
The cigarette haul. Picture courtesy of HM Revenue & Customs

Tom Hunnisett, assistant director in the fraud investigation service for HMRC, said after the case: “Glinecki thought he could smuggle these cigarettes into the UK and do the dirty on all honest taxpayers – but we’ve cleaned up in the end.

"He is now behind bars, paying for his crime.

“This illegal trade has a harmful effect on legitimate businesses and deprives the country of funding for our vital public services. The duty evaded on these illicit cigarettes was equivalent to the starting salaries of 65 police officers in Kent for a year."

The starting salary for a police officer in Kent is £24,518 and this figure includes an annual £2,000 South East allowance.

Dave Smith, deputy director of Border Force South East and Europe, said: “My officers are always alert to the different ways smugglers may conceal illegal goods, which in this case has led to a substantial seizure.

“Once items are seized, we work closely with law enforcement partners such as HMRC to bring criminals to justice.”

Anyone with information about smuggling, selling or storing of illicit tobacco should report it to HMRC online or contact its Fraud Hotline on 0800 788 887.

Join the debate...
Comments |

Don't have an account? Please Register first!

The KM Group does not moderate comments. Please click here for our house rules.

People who post abusive comments about other users or those featured in articles will be banned.

Thank you. Your comment has been received and will appear on the site shortly.

 

Terms of Comments
We do not actively moderate, monitor or edit contributions to the reader comments but we may intervene and take such action as we think necessary, please click here for our house rules. If you have any concerns over the contents on our site, please either register those concerns using the report abuse button, contact us here, email multimediadesk@thekmgroup.co.uk or call 01634 227989.

Follow us

Most popular

Kent Travel News

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