Tobacco smuggler caught red-handed on A14 at Fenstanton

A SMUGGLER caught on the A14 at Fenstanton has appeared before Huntingdon magistrates.

Peter Davies, 45, was caught by HM Revenue and Customs officers with seven black sacks full of smuggled tobacco.

Cambridgeshire police officers spotted two lorries and a Volkswagen Passat, with its boot open, in a layby on the A14.

The HMRC officers were called by Cambridgeshire police after officers searched the three vehicles and found the bin bags full of Golden Virginia and Drum tobacco.

Three men, including Davies, had unloaded 102 kilos of hand-rolling tobacco from the lorries and put them into Davies’ Passat. The two French lorry drivers, Sebastien Merlier and Norddine Messaoud, were charged with smuggling offences.

Davies, of Meldon Drive, Bilston, in the West Midlands, was charged with one count of smuggling on October 3 at Huntingdon police station.

He was sentenced today (Thursday) at Huntingdon Magistrates Court to 100 hours of community service, to be completed within 12 months.

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He has forfeited his car, valued at �3,500, and more than �4,700 in cash found in his vehicle was seized and will be subject to a future Proceeds of Crime Act hearing.

Merlier and Messaoud were charged on September 5. Both had arrived at Dover docks earlier that morning. They were remanded in custody and appeared before Huntingdon magistrates the same day. They were each ordered to pay �1,200, including �85 costs.