A Cardiff man, who used fake international boarding cards (when actually travelling on domestic flights) to buy duty free cigarettes has been jailed for 12 months. The scam resulted in an evasion estimated at £70,000 in excise duty.
HMRC investigators discovered that for over five years Simon Evans, used false boarding cards to purchase duty free goods at Bristol Airport. He would then use his legitimate boarding card to fly to Plymouth Airport from where he and the goods would return to Cardiff by train.
Last month at Bristol Crown Court Evans pleaded guilty to smuggling duty free goods on 52 occasions and to using fraudulent boarding passes. His co-conspirator David Hatton, 21 and also from Cardiff, received a non-custodial sentence in March.
HMRC investigators arrested both men on 7 October 2009 at Plymouth Airport as they disembarked a flight from Bristol. Examination of their baggage revealed 6,600 duty free cigarettes which had been bought at Bristol Airport. The men had travelled on an internal EU flight, so were not entitled to purchase duty free cigarettes.
Confiscation proceedings are ongoing.
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