UK News

Gang ordered to pay back £735,000 after smuggling millions of illegal cigarettes into the North East UK News

Three Newcastle men, who were jailed for smuggling millions of illegal cigarettes through the North East in 2020, have been ordered to pay back more than £735,000.

Kevin McDonough Snr, 62, and his 40-year-old son Kevin McDonough Jnr, both of Newbiggin Lane, Westerhope, and their co-conspirator Charles McFadyen, 77, of Norwood Road, were sentenced in November 2020, following of an investigation by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). Following separate forfeiture hearings at Newcastle Crown Court, the three men have now been ordered to repay the money they earned smuggling cigarettes into the UK or face more time in jail .

McDonough Snr was ordered to pay £522,674 within a further six months or five years in jail on December 10, 2021. He faces selling his house and other properties he owns in Westerhope, Fenham and Gosforth, for pay the forfeiture order.

READ MORE: Rising Sun rape investigation: National park police van encourages public to provide information

McFadyen was ordered to pay £185,837 within three months or a further 18 months in jail, on March 25, 2022. McDonough Jnr was ordered to pay back £27,128 within three months, or face another year behind the bars, on January 27, 2022.

Other members of the gang have also received forfeiture orders of up to £8,000.

Gang members were dispatched to various locations across England to collect large quantities of cigarettes and rolling tobacco before returning them to the North East. Drivers often used third-party vehicles to avoid detection.

Upon their return to the North East, the illegal cigarettes and tobacco were delivered to addresses used by the gang in Newcastle, where they were stored before being sold.

Martin Lynagh, Deputy Director, Fraud Investigation Service, HMRC, said: “These men ran a sophisticated smuggling operation, which put millions of illegal cigarettes on the streets of the UK and deprived our vital public services of millions of books. Now they have to pay back their ill-gotten gains or spend more time behind bars and still owe money.

“Our work doesn’t stop when someone is convicted – HMRC is always looking to recover the proceeds of crime from criminals who try to cheat the system. If you know someone who is committing tobacco fraud, you can report online to HMRC.

Further details are available in our press release issued at sentencing in November 2020. Forfeiture order amounts are calculated based on the total value of realizable assets/property held at the time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *