Smuggling is importing or exporting goods illegally, usually to avoid paying duty on them. The types of smuggling that are common relate to products such as drugs, illegal alcohol or tobacco sales.
Current commercial smuggling trends in the UK involve mainly alcohol, cigarettes and hand-rolling tobacco, usually involving criminal organisations. The contents of freight are mis-described, understated, or concealed by purporting to be some other type of legitimate or otherwise duty paid commodity. Detections by HMRC are usually by way of intelligence which can sometimes be covert.
HMRC are currently taking an aggressive approach in relation to smuggling cases and have recently been targeting those they suspect are avoiding pay duty on goods. Recent cases have shown that the courts are also taking smuggling cases seriously and have the power to hand out prison sentences in excess of 6 years imprisonment. It is therefore vital that anyone is who suspected of avoiding to pay the correct duty on goods has legal representation from the outset.
We have experience of all manner of smuggling cases. Members of our team have enjoyed major successes before the Court of Appeal and at the Central Criminal Court against HMRC in duties based alcohol smuggling fraud investigations and in avoiding the potentially catastrophic effect of confiscation of assets under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
If you have been approached by HMRC in connection with importing or exporting goods then you should contact us immediately so that we can liaise with HMRC on your behalf and advise you in relation to any potential inquiry and/or action brought against you.
HAS HMRC MADE YOU A PART OF A SMUGGLING INQUIRY? We are able to provide clear advice to assist you. Our Tax Disputes professionals are available to give information and advice. To contact one of our specialist Lawyers please click here or call 02071830529.
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