Press release -
Tobacco, drugs and knives smuggler jailed
A lorry driver caught smuggling around 900 kilos of hand-rolling tobacco, a small quantity of cocaine and amphetamine, CS Gas and eight dangerous knives into the UK has been jailed for three years, after an investigation by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).
Arpad Levente Jeddi, 47, was driving a lorry stopped by Border Force officers at Dover Eastern Docks on the evening of 19 October 2016. Officers discovered 880 kilos of ‘Turner’ and ‘Eastenders’ brand tobacco in the lorry’s trailer unit, worth an estimated £174,328 in evaded excise duty. The tobacco was hidden alongside a legitimate cargo of festive paper bags.
A search of Mr Jeddi revealed six grams of cocaine, with a street value of £600, and a lock knife. 81 grams of amphetamine, with a street value of £1,300, and a further seven illegal knives, including one with an 11 inch blade and several throwing knives, were found in the cab unit of the vehicle. The case was referred to HMRC for investigation.
Jeddi pleaded guilty to 11 charges on 18 April 2017 at Canterbury Crown Court, and was jailed at the same court on 20 April 2017 for three years. He had already admitted importing the amphetamine at a hearing on 25 November 2016.
Notes for editors
1. Arpad Levente JEDDI, DOB 13/01/1970, a lorry driver of Miskolc, Hungary, was arrested on 20 October 2016 at Dover Eastern Docks. He was charged on 21 October with 12 offences and remanded in custody.
2. On 18 April 2017 he pleaded guilty to:
- the fraudulent evasion of excise duty on 880 kilos of hand-rolling tobacco, contrary to section 170(2)(a) of the Customs and Excise Management Act 1979;
- importation of a prohibited weapon, contrary to the Customs and Excise Management Act 1979 - a section 5(1)(b) Firearms Act 1968 offence (CS Gas canister);
- importation of a Class A drug (cocaine), contrary to section 170(2)(b) of the Customs and Excise Management Act 1979 – imposed by the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971;
- having an offensive weapon, contrary to section 1 of the Prevention of Crime Act (flick knife);
- seven separate charges of having a bladed article, contrary to section 139 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988.
3. On 25 November 2016 he pleaded guilty to:
- importation of a Class B drug (amphetamine), contrary to section 170(2)(b) of the Customs and Excise Management Act 1979 – imposed by the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.
4. In the last two years alone, more than 3.5 billion illicit cigarettes and 600 tonnes of hand-rolling tobacco have been seized resulting in more than 800 prosecutions.
5. Anyone with information regarding tobacco fraud is encouraged to contact our Fraud Hotline on 0800 788 887 or via the website https://www.gov.uk/report-tobacco-or-alcohol-tax-evasion
6. Photos are available from HMRC's Flickr channel www.flickr.com/hmrcgovuk
7. Follow HMRC Press Office on Twitter @HMRCpressoffice
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.