Uddingston pensioner fined for smuggling cigarettes from holiday island

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An Uddingston pensioner has been sentenced for smuggling more than 47,000 cigarettes through

Prestwick Airport.

An Uddingston pensioner has been sentenced for smuggling more than 47,000 cigarettes through

Prestwick Airport.

James Thomson, 68, was stopped by Border Force officers on 22 April 2018

Thomson had just disembarked from a holiday flight from Gran Canaria - where he had picked up his illegal cargo.

The cigarettes that were found in his luggage were of the Mayfair and John Player Special brand with Spanish labelling.

They were promptly seized by the border guards on duty.

And the the case was referred to HMRC for investigation.

The duty evaded on the cigarettes was £15,426 in total.

A HMRC spokesperson said that there could be no justification for this sort of offence - which was hitting taxpayers in the wallet

He said:”Thomson knew what he was doing was illegal.

“Yet he still tried to pocket taxpayers’ money and undermine legitimate traders.

““Working closely alongside our Border Force colleagues, disrupting criminal trade is at the heart of our strategy to clampdown on the illicit tobacco market.

“We encourage anyone with information about the illegal sale of tobacco to contact our Fraud Hotline .

“This can be reached on 0800 788 887.”

Thomson pleaded guilty to Excise Duty fraud at Ayr Sheriff Court on 29 July 2019 .

He was handed a £700 fine before the same court on 10 December 2019.