Ipswich: Tobacco smuggler jailed for two years

Tobacco smuggler jailed

Tobacco smuggler jailed - Credit: PA

A bootlegger involved in tobacco smuggling is beginning a two-year jail sentence today after being caught twice by customs officers.

Slavomir Kraszewski, formerly of Nelson Road, Ipswich, was caught red-handed on both occasions with contraband hidden in parcels of glass panels.

The 59-year-old was on bail for the first offence when he was arrested for the second offence.

The total duty evaded on the illicit tobacco came to £380,000.

The first seizure was made in Ipswich in August 2012, when HM Revenue and Customs investigators called at Kraszewski’s former home in Nelson Road, of Woodbridge Road.

They found four boxes of what appeared to be glass panels in Kraszewski‘s room that had been delivered that day.

Officers’ suspicions were raised because the residential premises had no connection to a glass business.

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When they examined the boxes they found large polystyrene-lined compartments inside, stuffed full of smuggled tobacco.

In total more than 35 kilos of hand-rolled tobacco was seized on which no duty had been paid.

Kraszewski was arrested and later charged with smuggling offences.

In December similar parcels were intercepted this time destined for Watson Glaser in Waltham Cross.

When customs officers called at the address they caught Kraszewski carrying boxes full of smuggled tobacco and putting them into the back of a white van.

He was arrested for a second time and remanded in custody.

Kraszewski, of York Road, Waltham Cross, pleaded guilty to smuggling offences at Ipswich Crown Court in February and was sentenced by the same court yesterday.

After the sentencing Paul Barton, Assistant Director of Criminal Investigation, HM Revenue and Customs said: “Slawomir Kraszewski was caught on two separate occasions with parcels containing illicit tobacco.

“The second time he was caught was while he was on bail for the first offence.”

“Smuggled tobacco on which the duty has not been paid costs the British taxpayer around £1.8 billion a year in lost revenue and honest retailers have to compete with this illicit market.

“We would encourage anyone with information on tobacco smuggling to contact the customs’ hotline on 0800 59 5000.”

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