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Smuggler ran illegal tobacco factory from Islington cabin

64-year-old is handed suspended sentence after HMRC officers found processing and manufacturing plant

13 June, 2018

Kwai Choi Man attempted to ‘flood the market with his illicit, smuggled tobacco’

A SMUGGLER who ran an illegal tobacco factory from a portable cabin in Islington has been issued with a curfew and a suspended jail sentence.

Kwai Choi Man, of Queen Margaret’s Grove, had 1.1 tonnes of tobacco stashed away in containers at a storage depot in east London worth £166,000 in unpaid duty.

The 64-year-old had rented the containers under the name of George, paid in cash and left no contact details with the depot.

But he was eventually tracked down to Queen Margaret’s Grove in Islington and arrested as he loaded his Mercedes S320 car with illicit tobacco.

HMRC officers found boxes of fake branded tobacco pouches and a tobacco processing and manufacturing plant hidden behind his portable cabin.

Brett Wilkinson, an assistant director at the HMRC, said: “This man thought he was above the law by attempting to flood the market with his illicit, smuggled tobacco, denying a living for decent, hard-working retailers.”

Man pleaded guilty to evading excise duty on the first day of his trial at Snaresbrook Crown Court in April.

He was sentenced on May 31 to a 15-month jail sentence, suspended for two years. The court also imposed a nine-month curfew, between 7pm and 7am.


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