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, 15:00
The Famous Potatoes

Scintillating spuds are on the menu when bluegrass band The Famous Potatoes play in the Queen’s Theatre foyer.

Yesterday, 12:00
The thoughtful Chloe Trew, Finley Livingstone and Ellie Jo Stapleton with Olympian Greg Rutherford at the Thank You Awards Ceremony

Children have been encouraged to think very hard about who helps and supports them most in their lives and each wrote a letter to that person.

Yesterday, 10:00
Frances Bardsley Academy School, in Romford, has a farm where the students get stuck in and it is used as an alternative form of learning.
Katie Pidgeon, age13 Katie Willetts, age13 and Amelia, age12 with Baby Lionhead rabbits.

A school has welcomed some newborn rabbits and ducklings on to its farm just in time for Easter.

Saturday, March 28, 2015
Damyns Hall Aerodrome in Upminster have agreed to demolish one of their hangers to build a new one futher away from the road.

The destruction of an aircraft hanger that has been the subject of a High Court battle appears to be imminent.

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.

Digital Edition

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


Our trusted business finder

CCTV pictures capture the youngster’s early morning outing to satisfy her craving.

People are not happy with Hopkins’ comments, yet again.

There’s going to be more than 4,000 people standing for election – and other fun facts.