A total of £89,651 worth of illegal and untaxed cigarettes
Saade Jabar, aged 38, of Peterborough, has been jailed for 38 months after he attempted to evade paying more than £150,000 in tax through the illegal importation of cigarettes.
Peterborough Crown Court heard he first came to the attention of officers on April 5, 2019, when he was spotted acting suspiciously in the courtyard of a shop in Huntley Grove.
The officer saw Jabar through a window moving a laundry bag full of cigarettes and hiding them under a tarpaulin.
The officer had been carrying out an unrelated drug warrant at a nearby address at the time.
The officer walked into the shop and saw Jabar behind the counter serving customers. He was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit fraud against HMRC.
A search of the shop revealed non-taxed cigarettes for sale in the kiosk and hidden in boxes, suitcases, bags and laundry bags in the stockroom and backyard.
A van which was registered in Jabar’s name was found outside the shop. It contained another three large boxes of illegal cigarettes.
Jabar’s home in Dean Crescent was searched and officers found £3,500 in cash and a child’s bed stuffed with cigarettes.
A total of £89,651 worth of illegal and untaxed cigarettes were seized.
On November 2, 2019, at 10:20 pm whilst on police bail, a road policing officer was driving an unmarked car when he was passed by a Volkswagen Caddy van.
The officer followed the car and brought it to a stop in London Road. He spoke to the driver who identified himself as Jabar.
Jabar gave the officer his documents but his behaviour suggested he was trying to prevent the van from being searched.
When asked if he had counterfeit goods inside the vehicle, Jabar tried to walk into a nearby shop.
The officer opened the back of the van and unsealed one box to find cigarettes.
As he tried to arrest Jabar, he resisted. Jabar then tried to enter the van and flee, striking the officer in the chest whilst doing so.
This resulted in the officer letting go of Jabar’s arm which led to him making off in the van.
However, the officer pursued Jabar and managed to box him in at a nearby set of traffic lights.
The boxes inside the van were seized. The tax and VAT avoided through illegal importation of cigarettes was £76,741.
Jabar pleaded guilty to two counts of carrying chargeable goods intended to defraud Her Majesty, assault by beating of an emergency worker and dangerous driving.
PC Paul Nisbet said: “Jabar attempted to avoid paying a significant sum of money to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs for his own financial gain by selling on illegally imported cigarettes and tobacco.
“He was even willing to assault an officer who was simply doing his job to avoid getting caught.
“I am pleased he will now face time behind bars for his actions.”
Peterborough Today reported that on September 29, 2020, Jabar was jailed for 38 months. In addition, he was banned from driving for 31 months.