Hull shop owner stashed illegal cigarettes behind fake fuse box

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A shop owner in Hull has been caught out after stashing illegal cigarettes and tobacco in the walls behind a fake fuse box.

Badran Said, owner of the One Pound Plus on Beverley Road, was caught out when Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) officers visited with sniffer dogs.

The fake fuse box discovered by investigators

The fake fuse box discovered by investigators

He was found to be storing illegal cigarettes and hand-rolling tobacco worth £4,098 in unpaid duty.

Investigators found 8,640 mixed brand cigarettes and 4.5kg of Turner hand-rolling tobacco concealed inside one of the shop walls behind a fake fuse box in the raid, in December. Duty had not been paid on the tobacco goods.

The 42-year-old, of Napier Street, Burton-on-Trent, admitted excise fraud and was fined £680 at Hull Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.

HMRC has now begun proceedings to recover the unpaid tax.

The haul of illegal cigarettes and tobacco discovered by investigators with sniffer dogs

The haul of illegal cigarettes and tobacco discovered by investigators with sniffer dogs

A spokesperson said: "Said thought his stash of illegal tobacco was well hidden and would go undetected. But he was wrong.

“Trade in illegal tobacco harms legitimate traders and takes money away from our vital public services. We encourage anyone with information about tax fraud to report it online or contact our Fraud Hotline on 0800 788 887.”