Peterborough man ordered to pay back £34,000 after being found with £100,000 of illicit cigarettes
A Peterborough man has been ordered to pay back more than £34,000 after being caught with large sums of cash and more than £100,000 of non-duty paid cigarettes.
Saade Jabar, 39, of Dean Crescent, Peterborough, was convicted of fraudulently evading duty after a HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) investigation found he had significant amounts of cigarettes illegally imported into the UK. He was jailed in May 2016 for two years and eight months.
During the investigation, officers observed Jabar move a laundry bag full of cigarettes into the rear yard of a shop on Huntley Grove, Peterborough, and hide them under a tarpaulin. A subsequent search of his van found three large boxes of cigarettes, with the total worth thought to be £107,600. Officers also found £34,223 in cash.
Following the initial operation, specialist financial investigators from ERSOU’s Financial Investigation Team found that Jabar had profited substantially from his activities and, at a Peterborough Crown Court hearing on Monday (15 March), he was ordered to repay the £34,223 he is known to have gained from his illicit activities, which included the seized cash.
Financial Investigation Manager Leanne Middleton, said: “Working with our colleagues in Cambridgeshire Police and HM Revenue & Customs has shown that we can capitalise on every opportunity to use Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) legislation and asset recovery powers to strip those who seek to benefit from crime.
“The sale of cheap and illicit tobacco and cigarettes is linked to organised crime and is known to contribute to an underground economy which is worth billions, so it is vital to do everything in our power to tackle those involved.”