NI man, 58, jailed over seizure of illicit tobacco products

Lisburn Courthouse. Pic by Google
Lisburn Courthouse. Pic by Google

A man has been jailed after officers from the Paramilitary Crime Taskforce seized more than 16,000 illicit cigarettes and 16kg of tobacco from his Lisburn home.

William Riley, 58, of Killaney Avenue, was arrested in March 2018 by PCTF officers conducting a search at his home.

Illicit tobacco products worth £11,720.04 in lost duty and taxes were seized.

Riley pleaded guilty to two charges of fraudulent evasion of Excise Duty at Lisburn Magistrates' Court on April 16 this year.

At the same court yesterday, he was sentenced to eight months in jail.

Commenting on the outcome of the case, Detective Superintendent Rachel Shields said: “Whilst some people may think that selling and buying counterfeit cigarettes isn’t a big problem, the reality is that profits made from the sale of these type of items are often used to fund other criminality which inflicts misery on local communities.

"There is no such thing as a victimless crime – communities end up paying the price whilst paramilitaries profit.”