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Last Updated: Tuesday, 13 June 2006, 17:23 GMT 18:23 UK
Cigarette smuggler caught in act
A serial cigarette smuggler from Doncaster was caught as he tried to bring 25,000 cigarettes and 800g of tobacco into the UK from Tenerife.

Kevin Lee Flynn, 28, of Riviera Parade, tried to dupe officers at Durham Tees Valley airport by telling them he was travelling with only hand luggage.

But his cover was blown when police found two suitcases, both labelled with his full name, on the baggage carousel.

Darlington magistrates gave Flynn a four-month suspended jail sentence.

He was convicted of a number of smuggling charges amounting to a total of nearly 180,000 cigarettes and more than 18 kilos of hand rolling tobacco since September 2005.

A HM Revenue and Customs spokesman said this equated to the evasion of more than 33,000 in excise duty.

In addition to the suspended prison sentence, Flynn was also given a three-month curfew order between 10pm and 6am every day.

He was also ordered to complete 250 hours of community service and pay 250 compensation.

'Public money'

After being arrested at Durham Tees Valley airport on 10 May, unemployed Flynn told officers he had flown to Tenerife purposely to bring back cigarettes for himself and his family.

During his interview, he admitted making a number of similar trips and told police that on several occasions he had abandoned his bags when he realised customs officers were on duty.

Flynn targeted various other airports to bring cases stuffed with cigarettes into the UK, including Newcastle International Airport, Gatwick and Luton.

John Kinghorn, head of detection for HM Revenue and Customs, said: "This case is another example of someone who is blatantly flouting the law.

"Flynn has attempted to take away 33,000 of public money which could be spent on vital public services and in local communities."

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