Cigarette smuggler is caught at airport

Teodor Petkov Tsonchev' 18,080 cigarettes seized from his baggage at Robin Hood Airport, Doncaster. �3,920 duty and VAT evaded.
Teodor Petkov Tsonchev' 18,080 cigarettes seized from his baggage at Robin Hood Airport, Doncaster. �3,920 duty and VAT evaded.
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A MAN caught smuggling thousands of cigarettes into the country through Robin Hood Airport has finally been brought to justice.

Bulgarian Teodor Tsonchev, 32, jumped bail three times before he was finally stopped, after illegally bringing in the tobacco through Doncaster plus another four airports.

He had already been stopped at the other four airports when he was finally stopped at Robin Hood Airport in May 2009.

Customs officers seized 18,080 cigarettes, which represented £3,920 in unpaid duty and VAT.

On each occasion he travelled to Tenerife to visit family and smuggled the cigarettes in on his return to the UK.

He pleaded guilty to evading nearly £17,000 of duty and VAT at Bournemouth Magistrates’ Court.

Tsonchev, of London, received a 20 week jail, suspended for one year. He must also undertake 160 hours of community service.

John Cooper, of HMRC, said: “Tobacco smuggling not only undermines legitimate retailers who have to compete with illegal imports, but also costs the UK economy around £2 billion a year.”