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Sentences cut for Britons accused of smuggling cigarettes from Kuwait to UK

KUWAIT CITY, Jan 20: The New Castle Crown Court has reduced sentences for five Britons who smuggled thousands of cigarettes into the United Kingdom via Kuwait and evaded taxes worth £250,000, reports Annahar daily.

For nine months, British Border Agency officials managed to seize 15 travel bags containing two cartons filled with 200,000 cigarettes for which no fees were paid.

Over the same period, between June 2017 and March 2018, another 19 bags were brought into the UK containing about half a million unpaid cigarettes through border controls without detection.

The smugglers had traveled to Kuwait for a short break and took the illegal baggage before returning to Newcastle airport via Heathrow. “You all took part in coordinated action and planned to bring large amounts of duty-free cigarettes to the UK from Kuwait,” said Judge Tim Gittins.

“Each of you played a role in order to earn a few pounds. It is naïve to expose yourselves to long prison terms for a few hundreds of pounds.” The defense team requested the sentence be reduced, because the defendants were not aware of the seriousness of the matter.

The court therefore sentenced the defendants to 12 months imprisonment suspended for two years with 200 unpaid working hours and four months solitary with £250 fine.

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