Cigarette Fraudster Jailed

Aiden Francis Grew (55) from Benburb Street in Blackwatertown had pleaded guilty in 2008 to evading duty on almost five million cigarettes.

He was sentenced to three years imprisonment suspended for two years. He was also ordered to pay £500,000 with a default sentence of a further three years if payment was not made within 12 months.

Burning cigarette

Burning cigarette

John Whiting, Assistant Director, Criminal Investigation for HMRC, said: “Grew failed to pay the confiscation amount and will now serve the three year default sentence. We are determined that this money will be restored to the public’s finances and we will continue to pursue this debt to reclaim the proceeds of crime.

“Confiscation proceedings show that our work doesn’t stop once someone is convicted. Failure to pay a confiscation order often results in a prison sentence. HMRC will seek to recover any financial gain from those involved in excise fraud and will work with our partners in the Organised Crime Task Force (OCTF) to stamp out the illegal trade in smuggled tobacco.”

He was arrested and jailed on Tuesday following a warrant executed by officers from the Police Service of Northern Ireland’s (PSNI) Organised Crime Branch.

Grew was previously arrested in a joint HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) and Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) operation in November 2005 when cigarettes were seized at an address in Battleford Road, Co Armagh.

Grew appealed against the original sentence which was dismissed.

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