6 OCTOBER 2014
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A Ryanair flight attendant has been jailed after being found guilty at Manchester Crown Court of smuggling cigarettes into the UK. Terence Steele (57) of Croxteth, Liverpool, was sentenced to 12 months jail suspended for two years and ordered to undertake 120 hours community work. Said to be the ringleader of a gang, Dennis Connolly (43) received a 21 month sentence. Connolly now faces a confiscation hearing under Proceeds of Crime legislation. Connolly booked 131 smuggling trips for himself and others using discounted employee travel privileges.
Connolly, Steele and Adele Jenkinson (41) also an airline employee, made large purchases of duty-free tobacco in Spain and Portugal for the gang to smuggle. Meanwhile, Barry Gwynn (39) booked 12 smuggling trips for himself and others using Jenkinson’s airline staff discount.
Sandra Smith, Assistant Director, Criminal Investigation, HMRC, said:
“Airline employees hold a position of trust and abusing such privileges in order to smuggle is a serious matter. Connolly organised subsidised travel purely for smuggling purposes. There are no excuses for smuggling, whatever your status.
“Tobacco fraud costs honest taxpayers more than £2bn a year, undercutting honest businesses, and drawing people into wider criminality. www.mynewsdesk.com/uk/hm-revenue-customs-hmrc
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