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Larkfield doctor and Maidstone mum and daughter used counterfeit boarding cards to buy duty-free cigarettes in airports

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A respected GP has been spared jail after he used fake boarding cards to buy duty-free cigarettes in airports.

Dr Alan Pollock, from Larkfield, made travel arrangements and provided fake documents for Jayne White, from Maistone, and her daughter Lucy, 20, to try and trick departure lounge workers when buying the goods.

Dr Alan Pollock, 49, from Larkfield.
Dr Alan Pollock, 49, from Larkfield.

The offenders, who were sentenced on Friday, would then sell the cigarettes on the black market.

In court Pollock was described as a key player in the scam, leading a judge to express his surprise that the 49-year-old should have to go: "grubbing around to make dirty money."

The women, of Westminster Square, off Queen's Road, were arrested after they were stopped by Border Force at Gatwick Airport in April 2013.

Officers found they were carrying 3,000 duty-free cigarettes, which can only be purchased if travelling outside the European Union.

The pair tried to claim they were due to fly to Oslo and presented fraudulent boarding passes in an attempt to justify the purchase.

Jayne White, 54, from Maidstone.
Jayne White, 54, from Maidstone.
Lucy White, 20, from Maidstone.
Lucy White, 20, from Maidstone.

Customs officials searched the family home and Jayne White's car, and found a stash of counterfeit boarding passes, as well as evidence showing several illegal purchases of duty-free cigarettes between February 2011 and their arrest.

They also discovered Pollock used his home computer to plot the journeys and make the boarding passes to non-EU destinations, including Geneva, Zurich, Tenerife and Lanzarote from his home computer.

Pollock, who also faced fraud charges for possession of false rail tickets and a fraudulent travel document stamping device, was sentenced to two years in prison, suspended for two years.

Sentencing the doctor at Lewes Crown Court, Judge Anthony Scott-Gall said: "It baffles me that as a respected GP you became involved in this squalid criminality. With a good salary and considerable wealth, you had to go grubbing around making dirty money buying duty free cigarettes and flogging them off. What a terrible fall from grace.”

The VAT and duty evaded on the cigarettes totalled £27,518.

DC Colin Saysell, of British Transport Police’s Organised Crime Unit, described the crime as "a sophisticated and well planned criminal enterprise".

All three pleaded guilty to the fraudulent evasion of VAT and duty.

Jayne White, a former employee of Gatwick Airport, was sentenced to a two-year jail term, suspended for two years.

Her daughter was ordered to complete 250 hours of unpaid work.

Alan Tully, assistant director of criminal investigation at HMRC, said: "This gang were trying to fool airport workers by presenting fake boarding cards which would have shown they were travelling outside of the EU.

“We will not stand by and let people rip off the law-abiding public. HMRC is determined to detect, disrupt and bring those who break the law before the courts.

“We encourage anyone with information about the illegal sale, storage or distribution of cigarettes to call the Customs Hotline on 0800 59 5000.”

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