Jail for Midlands cigarette smuggling gang members

24 December, 2012

Seven men who conspired to illegally import 9 million cigarettes have been jailed following an HM Revenue & Customs investigation.

Three of the men were responsible for distributing the cigarettes across the Midlands, while three others smuggled them in from Poland, Latvia and Romania.

A seventh man helped to launder the profits from the operation which evaded £1.5 million in unpaid duty and VAT.

HMRC officials seized stocks of counterfeit and illegally-imported Marlboro, Superkings, Regal, Sovereign, L&M’s and Jin Ling cigarettes at nine locations in the Midlands and Kent in 2009.

John Pointing, assistant director of criminal investigation, said: “These men set out to make vast amounts of money at the expense of legitimate retailers by ripping-off unsuspecting smokers and the taxpayer.

“This will serve as a firm warning to others involved in tobacco smuggling: you will be caught.”

The convicted men and their jail sentences are:

Miqdad Salih, of Purefoy Road, Cheylesmore, Coventry; five years and four months

Goran Ahmed, of Farren Road, Coventry; two years and four months

Khalid Hareem, of Warmwell Close, Coventry; two years and four months

Milian Matei, of Bowthorpe Close, Northampton; two years

Alexsandrs Maculevics, or Archer Road, Stevenage, Hertfordshire; two years

Dmitrijs Smirnovs, Benton Road, Stevenage, Hertfordshire; two years

Ezzat Hamasleh, of Beaks Farm Gardens, Edgbaston, Birmingham; 10 months

Bookmark this

Site Search


Looking back to look forward

Wine is a liquid time capsule. Drinking older vintages not only recalls the weather conditions and winemaking styles of the past, it encourages us to reflect upon our own histories. Such reminiscence often inclines towards romanticised nostalgia. Especially after the second bottle. But looking back is a great way of learning about the future.

Click for more »
Upcoming events


Is blended Scotch overshadowed by single malt in retailers?

  • Yes
  • No
  • Don't know