A MAN from Tyne and Wear was found with more than 47,000 illegal cigarettes and 10 kilos of hand rolling tobacco at his home.

David Clark, 34, of Kismet Street, Southwick, Sunderland, was storing cigarettes and hand-rolling tobacco worth £16,222 in unpaid duty, an investigation by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) revealed.

Northumbria Police found 47,400 counterfeit Mayfair King Size cigarettes and 10.35kg of Robin Hood tobacco at his home when they visited for an unrelated matter in December 2017. The illegal goods were seized by police and the case was passed to HMRC for investigation.

Clark admitted being knowingly concerned in the fraudulent evasion of excise duty at Newcastle Crown Court in September and was sentenced to ten months in prison, suspended for 24 months, at the same court on Thursday.

Cheryl Burr, assistant director, Fraud Investigation Service, HMRC, said: “Clark cheated taxpayers out of money which should be used to fund our public services and thought he could get away with it. But he was wrong. We will continue to work with partner agencies to crack down on black market trade in illegal tobacco.”

  • Call the Fraud Hotline on 0800-788887 with information.