Ipswich trio accused of avoiding tax on cigarettes

Suffolk County Council has been told it would be illegal to disinvest in tobacco firms.

The trio are accused of fraudulent evasion of excise duty - Credit: PA

Three men accused of fraudulent evasion of excise duty following the seizure of 190,000 cigarettes and about 215kg of tobacco in Ipswich and Colchester are to face trial.

Before Ipswich Crown Court are Semko Mohamed, 47, of Wicklow Road, Ipswich; Amir Sarawan, 44, of Norwich Road, Ipswich; and Farang Yasin, 48, of Selwyn Close, Ipswich.

All three have denied being knowingly concerned in carrying, removing, depositing, harbouring, keeping or concealing tobacco products, which were chargeable with a duty, which had not been paid, with intent to defraud Her Majesty of any duty payable on the goods.

The offence is alleged to have taken place between December 31, 2014 and July 31, 2018.

Sarawak has also denied possessing criminal property, namely £16,600 and $1,500 and Yasin has denied possessing criminal property, namely £9,900.

All three are on bail until and their trial, which is expected to last four days, will take place in a two-week warned list commencing September 13.

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