A Co Louth man who was caught delivering over one million counterfeit cigarettes to a car park in Belfast has been jailed today for excise duty fraud.
Patrick Corrigan, 62, from Commons Road, Drumiskin, was arrested by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) officers after the van he was driving was stopped by police on the A1 in July 2012. The van and 1.1 million cigarettes, worth an estimated £280,649 in evaded excise duty and VAT, were seized.
Corrigan was arrested again in November 2012, while attempting to smuggle 100,000 cigarettes from the Republic of Ireland into Northern Ireland hidden in the back of a van.
John Whiting, Assistant Director, Criminal Investigation for HMRC, said:
“Corrigan received cash in hand for collecting a van full of cigarettes from Jonesborough, which he planned to leave at a shopping centre car park in Belfast. He was then caught a second time.
“Tobacco smuggling is organised crime on a global scale. It encourages and supports criminality within our communities, robbing taxpayers of millions each year in unpaid duty and VAT. Anyone with information about the storage or sale of illegal tobacco should contact the Customs Hotline on 0800 59 5000.”
Further information is online at www.hmrc.gov.uk/customs-hotline.
Notes for editors
- Patrick Corrigan, DOB 13/8/1951, of Commons Road, Drumiskin, Co Louth, was found guilty of being knowingly concerned in the carrying and concealing of certain goods, namely 1,100,000 cigarettes, with a view to fraudulent evasion of excise duty contrary to Section 170 (1) (b) Customs and Excise Management Act 1979, and being knowingly concerned in the fraudulent evasion or attempted evasion of excise duty and Value Added Tax chargeable on the said goods, namely 1,100,000 cigarettes, contrary to Section 170 (2) (a) of the Customs and Excise Management Act 1979.
- Corrigan was jailed for 12 months when he appeared at Newry Crown Court today.
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Issued by HM Revenue & Customs Press Office
HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is the UK’s tax authority.
HMRC is responsible for making sure that the money is available to fund the UK’s public services and for helping families and individuals with targeted financial support.