Four jailed for counterfeit tobacco fraud

Four men behind a Grimsby tobacco counterfeiting fraud, worth around £95,500 in evaded duty, have been jailed for a total of six years after an investigation by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

Eric Cuerton, 57, from Grimbsy, John Stewart, 51, from Birkenhead, and Ronald Johnson, 53, from Dartford, were arrested in May 2013 after HMRC officers seized 553 kilograms of hand- rolling tobacco (HRT) from a car trailer in Holton Le Clay, near Grimsby.

Follow up searches of Cuerton’s home revealed a tobacco processing plant set up in his kitchen. As the investigation continued a fourth man, GiuseppeAvanzi, 35, from London, was arrested in August 2013 as he arrived off a flight from Italy.

The men pleaded guilty when they appeared at Grimsby Crown Court on 13 October 2014 and were sentenced at the same court on Monday 30 March 2015.