A Polish lorry driver, who was caught with 300,000 cigarettes hidden inside the walls and roof of a lorry, has been jailed.
Sebastian Marek Orlowski tried to smuggle 300,000 non-UK duty paid cigarettes, worth £80,589 in unpaid taxes, through Hull Ferry Port from Poland.
The 33 year-old was arrested at the port after Border Force officers with detector dogs found single packets of L&M and Marlboro Gold branded cigarettes stashed inside the lining of the vehicle.
The flatbed lorry, which had been fitted with a modified back unit, was seized and stripped by HM Revenue and Customs.
Sandra Smith, Assistant Director, Fraud Investigation Service, HMRC, said: “This was a shameless attempt to cheat the UK taxpayer and put thousands of illicit cigarettes on the streets. Orlowski thought his illegal cargo was well hidden and would avoid detection, but he was wrong.
“The illicit tobacco market costs the UK around £2.5 billion a year, taking money from public services and undermining legitimate traders."
Orlowski claimed he was being paid to deliver the haul of illicit goods into the UK.
He admitted excise fraud at Hull Magistrates’ Court in september and was sentenced to 21 months in prison at Hull Crown Court on Wednesday by His Honour Judge Jeremy Richardson.