Gibraltar fines cigarette smuggler

A SPANIARD arrested for smuggling 800,000 cigarettes into Gibraltar last week has been fined £100,000 (€134,000).

Two men appeared before the Magistrate’s Court this week charged with fraudulently evading import duty when a commercial vehicle was searched and 800,000 cigarettes were found in plain cardboard boxes on January 27.

The vehicle had declared a consignment of sanitary ware at the East Gate commercial entrance and was kept under surveillance by undercover officers.

Jesus Sanchez Blanco pleaded guilty to the offence and was fined £100,000 (€134,000) or on default six months’ imprisonment. The co-defendant has pleaded not guilty to the offence and is due to appear in court again on April 14.

The retail value of the goods seized was in the region of £75,000 (€99,000) and the amount of import duty evaded was around £54,000 (€72,500).

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