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Tobacco fraud smashed after gang member jailed

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Tobacco fraud smashed after gang member jailed

Emmanuel Cieply rented properties just to use them as delivery addresses for more than 14 tonnes of smuggled tobacco worth £3.1 million in evaded VAT and duty, has been jailed.

The gang member, 57, of no fixed abode, rented three properties in Bradford, Leeds and Liverpool where 1,041 packages containing the illegal tobacco products were delivered between October 2014 and February 2016.

The parcels, which came from Germany, were often disguised as glass products and addressed to phoney businesses.

Cieply was arrested at a property on Longroyd Avenue, Leeds, after a damaged parcel was found to contain 76 kilos of hand-rolling tobacco in December 2015. Duty had not been paid on the Amber Leaf branded products, which were seized by UK Borer Force.

HMRC officers searched the property and found £70,810 cash in a duvet cover and packaging identical to that seized by UK Border Force.

A total of 1,041 tobacco parcels, worth an estimated £3,184,003 in duty and VAT, were addressed to the properties:

  • 260 parcels sent to Longroyd Avenue, Leeds
  • 123 parcels sent to Temple Street, Bradford
  • 658 parcels sent to Halsbury Road, Liverpool

He admitted excise fraud at Leeds Crown Court on 9 August 2017 and was sentenced to 38 months in prison at the same court on