| 15.9°C Dublin

fake fags Father and daughter jailed for running counterfeit cigarette operation

They admitted the fraudulent evasion of duty payable on 110,000 various cigarettes and 90 kilos of rolling tobacco.

Close

Counterfeit cigarettes are big business on the black market

Counterfeit cigarettes are big business on the black market

Counterfeit cigarettes are big business on the black market

A father and daughter counterfeit cigarette operation ended with jail sentences totalling 21 months today.

While 43-year-old Lisa George had her nine month sentence suspended for three years, her father Brian George (72) was handed a 12 month sentence and told to surrender himself to custody at Craigavon Crown Court on Tuesday morning to begin his six months in jail.

Judge Patrick Lynch QC said the remainder would be spent on supervised licence conditions and ordered the illegal cigarettes and rolling tobacco to be destroyed.

At an earlier hearing the father and daughter admitted the fraudulent evasion of duty payable on 110,000 various cigarettes and 90 kilos of rolling tobacco.

The court heard that on 21 August 2017, officers from HMRC searched Mr George’s home at Upper Dunmurry Lane in Belfast and when they arrived, Brian and Lisa George were “walking away from a shed at the side of the premises.”

“After the warrant was executed Brian George stated he was in ‘big trouble’ as there was ‘stuff’ present. Lisa George stated there was “stuff” in the shed which belonged to her,” said prosecuting counsel Nicola Auret.

While all the various brands of cigarettes, all of which turned out to be counterfeit, were uncovered in the shed, the 90 kilos of tobacco was found in Lisa George’s car.

Mobile phones were seized from the pair, along with numerous handwritten notes and a purple notebook and the court heard that examination of the items showed the pair were involved in selling the cigarettes and tobacco.

They also established that “messages indicated that Brian George was in charge of the operation and was instructing his daughter in respect of various purchases and sales,” said Ms Auret.

Arrested and interviewed Lisa George, from Lagmore Meadows, made admissions and took “full responsibility” for the cigarettes and tobacco but refused to say where she got them or who she sold them to.

Her father denied any knowledge of the contraband.

Ms Auret told the court the total excise duty and VAT liability was £60,077.99.

Defence counsel Damien Halleron, acting for Brian George and Aileen Smyth, on behalf of his daughter, submitted they had both entered guilty pleas at the first opportunity, highlighting their own particular medical problems and the “significant delay” in bringing the case to a conclusion.

Sentencing the pair, Judge Lynch said that apart from the loss to the exchequer, selling counterfeit cigarettes and tobacco was a serious matter because the fake goods were not subject to the same restrictions and regulations as genuine products.

Sunday World Newsletter

Sign up for the latest news and updates

This field is required This field is required

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices


Top Videos





Privacy