Tobacco smuggler brought back from Spain to serve prison term

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FIVE OF the UK’s top tax fugitives including a man from Doncaster who smuggled 150 million cigarettes have been brought back to the UK by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

The Most Wanted fugitives fled abroad either before or during their trial.

John Sabin, part of a major tobacco smuggling gang, fled to Spain after being convicted of his involvement in smuggling more illicit cigarettes into the UK.

He was traced to a bar in Spain and has been brought back to serve a two years and nine months jail sentence which he was given in his absence, plus an extra three months for absconding.

Others included Malcolm McGowan, from Edinburgh, who fled to Spain prior to sentencing after being convicted for smuggling 28.3 million cigarettes, 
and Magdalena Ferkova, part of a Nottingham-based crime gang, who was returned from the Czech Republic after being convicted of tax credit and child benefit fraud.

Jennie Granger, HMRC’s Director General of Enforcement and Compliance, said: “Tax fraudsters line their pockets at the UK’s expense.

“The individuals on our Most Wanted list have been charged but fled the country to avoid justice, so it’s excellent news for all honest taxpayers that five fugitives on last year’s list have now been brought back to face the consequences.

“This is down to the determination of our people with the help and support of the general public. We would like to thank the public for that help.”

Anyone with information should contact a hotline on 0800 788887.