Hatfield tobacco smuggler jailed

TWO men who smuggled 1.3 tonnes of tobacco into the country – avoiding paying more than �150,000 in duty – have been jailed. The jobless duo were intercepted by police officers in Kent with the stash in the back of their van. Hatfield man Noah Stanley was

TWO men who smuggled 1.3 tonnes of tobacco into the country - avoiding paying more than �150,000 in duty - have been jailed.

The jobless duo were intercepted by police officers in Kent with the stash in the back of their van.

Hatfield man Noah Stanley was driving and Stephen Catanach was a passenger in a white Mercedes Sprinter van that had just left an industrial estate in Kent, on May 27 last year.

A search of the white van revealed 1.3 tonnes of hand rolling tobacco packed in brown cardboard boxes in the rear.

The duty the pair evaded is estimated as �154,000.

After enquiries by HM Revenue & Customs officers both men were charged with smuggling offences. The pair pleaded guilty at Maidstone Crown Court to being knowingly concerned in carrying, removing, depositing, and harbouring excise goods.

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Stanley, 37, of Holwell Caravan Park and Catanach, 48, of Theobalds Park, Waltham Cross, were both jailed for nine months.