Four year jail term for cigarette smuggler

September 9, 2013

A Whitecross man has been jailed for four years by the Old Bailey for his part in an attempt to smuggle seven million counterfeit cigarettes.

Brendan Murphy (44) from Tullyah Road was arrested by HMRC (Revenue and Customs) after he was caught unloading the cigarettes from a 40ft trailer at a warehouse in Deptford, London in December 2011.

HMRC claim Murphy financed the setting up of a furniture import business – Vital Trade Ltd – as a front to smuggle the tobacco.

Following Murphy’s sentencing on Friday, John Pointing, Assistant Director, Criminal Investigation, HMRC, said: “This criminal plot attempted to deprive the nation’s public services of nearly £2 million in revenue. We will not stop in our pursuit to bring those involved in this type of criminal activity before the courts.

“Tobacco smuggling is organised crime on a global scale. It encourages and supports criminality within our communities, robbing taxpayers of millions each year in unpaid duty and VAT.”

Two others, Justin McCormack and Catherine Joyce Henry, were also arrested in December 2011 but have since absconded.