Search

Two Havering men jailed for tobacco smuggling

16:42 02 October 2012

Turner

Turner

Archant

Two men from Havering are among four jailed for smuggling millions of cigarettes into the UK hidden in furniture to evade £1.5 million in taxes.

Nigel Sheekey, 50, of Mawney Road, Romford, was sentenced to four years at Ipswich Crown Court on Monday, after being convicted of four illegal importations.

Terry Turner, 51, of South End Road, Rainham, will serve 22 months after being convicted of his involvement in two importations.

Michael Lowe, 61, of Carlina Gardens, Woodford Green, pleaded guilty to seven importations, and was sentenced to four years and nine months in prison.

And Paul Huzzey, 56, of Tycehurst Hill, Loughton, pleaded guilty in 2011 to two importations and was jailed for 18 months.

The four were caught after customs officers used covert surveillance to watch a delivery of smuggled cigarettes and tobacco to a warehouse in Walthamstow, east London.

Lowe was central to the illegal operation using contacts made in Indonesia.

He set up a series of importations declared as furniture or handicrafts, with knowledge gained from working in the trade, in which he concealed illicit tobacco and cigarettes.

Investigators uncovered a total of 22 importations between July 2007 and April 2009.

Lowe was a frequent visitor to Indonesia using family names and addresses in the UK to set up the importations.

Paperwork found at his home resulted in the seizure of nearly 1.7 tons of handrolling tobacco and nearly 700,000 cigarettes in a container in Indonesia.

Sheekey adopted a false name and used his mother’s home address to facilitate the importation and collection of one of the consignments.

Turner was involved in organising a load and the delivery of another.

Huzzey supplied storage facilities to the organisation.

Paul Barton, Customs’ director of criminal investigation, said: “The effect of this type of criminal activity on legitimate retailers can be devastating. Millions of pounds, which should be available for public services, are lost each year.”

A fifth man, Anthony Wheeler, 49, of March, Cambridgeshire, pleaded guilty in September 2011 and will be sentenced in November.

Anyone with information should call the customs hotline on: 0800 59 5000 or email: customs.hotline@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk.

All five men were convicted of the fraudulent evasion of excise duty.

Latest News Stories

Yesterday, 16:14
Coral Knockton with son Oscar and Amanda Stone with son Jake at the college

Stunned college students have been left in limbo after discovering they all failed their IT course – having been told they had passed.

Yesterday, 13:41
Flowers and messages at the scene of the fatal crash last year

A man has pleaded not guilty to causing death by careless driving.

Yesterday, 08:32
Have you seen missing 14-year-old Klaudia Sokolowska?

Police are renewing appeals for help in tracing a missing 14-year-old girl who could be in Dagenham.

Yesterday, 07:01
Jeff Buggle, finance director from BHRUT

The trust running Queen’s Hospital is paying more on loan repayments to private investment firms than any other across London, a report has found.

Most read news

News from your area

WW100

Click on the banner above for full coverage of the centenary commemorations of the outbreak of the First World War.

Competitions

Shop till you drop!

Home to top name brands at great prices, TK Maxx is more like a treasure hunt than a shop. Perfect for grabbing a bargain or some hidden gems, you arm yourself with a trolley and go wild.

Scones, jam and a cup of Earl Grey anyone?

Luxury boutique hotel Flemings Mayfair has recently launched The Drawing Room, London’s most stylish location for afternoon tea.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Romford Recorder e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24


Our trusted business finder