A Southall cash and carry owner, who was found with more than £500,000 worth of non-duty paid tobacco products after a third visit by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) officers, has been jailed.
Pius Sedani, 51, had been given two formal warnings for selling illegal tobacco and alcohol after visits by HMRC officers in January and December 2011, and asked for a third warning when he was visited again in November 2012. He admitted evading £580,000 in duty and VAT on 3,250 kilos of hand-rolling, chewing and shisha tobacco seized at his Quality Foods store.
Sedani was sentenced to two years and four months imprisonment at the Central Criminal Court and ordered to payback £278,196 by 5 August 2013, or face a further three years in jail.
John Pointing, HMRC Assistant Director said:
“Sedani was given two warnings, but persisted in selling non-duty paid goods. We cannot allow people to consider themselves above the law, and we will not hesitate to take formal action against those who do so.”
Notes for editors
1. Defendant’s details: Pius Sedani, DOB 25/07/61, of Pine Trees, Ickenham, Uxbridge.
2. HMRC officers visited Quality Foods in Southall on three occasions. In January 2011, they seized 270 kilos of non-duty paid tobacco, along with Indian hand-rolling cigarettes. In December 2011, they found and seized 2,500 kilos of chewing tobacco, 5 kilos of shisha tobacco and almost 18 litres of spirits. On their final visit, they uncovered 447 kilos of non-duty paid chewing tobacco, and 2,520 cigarettes of various brands.
3. Sedani admitted being involved in the fraudulent evasion of duty and was sentenced at the Central Criminal Court on 22 July 2013.
4. Follow HMRC on Twitter @hmrcgovuk
5. HMRC’s Flickr channel www.flickr.com/hmrcgovuk
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.