How not to smuggle tobacco into the country: Bungling students caught after taking pictures of themselves packing it into suitcases
- Three men from Leicester detained at Heathrow after Police received tip-off
- Customs officers found photos on phones of them posing with contraband
- Each had five suitcases with total of 291kg of tobacco
- Pleaded guilty to tobacco smuggling and conspiracy offences
By William Cook
PUBLISHED: 11:18 EST, 12 November 2012 | UPDATED: 12:24 EST, 12 November 2012
Three students were caught smuggling nearly £60,000 worth of shisha tobacco - after taking photos of themselves packing it into suitcases
The gang's teenage leader and his two accomplices have been sentenced for their role in a 'get rich quick' plot to smuggle the 300kg of shisha tobacco from Dubai to the UK.
The trio were detained on arrival at Heathrow airport, after officials received a tip-off.
Three men were arrested after posing for photos with the tobacco they were trying to smuggle into the UK
Asking for trouble: Muhibur Rahman (pictured) poses with the tobacco next to one of the trio's fifteen suitcases
When customs officers confiscated the students' mobile phones they discovered an image of one of the smugglers - Muhibur Rahman - posing in a Dubai hotel room with the tobacco.
Sahil Sheikh, 19, an undergraduate at Leicester's De Montfort University, masterminded the criminal operation and recruited two accomplices to help him transport the tobacco.
He covered the costs of travel, hotels and the tobacco itself and organised its sale in the UK.
When arrested, Sheikh, fellow De Montfort student Muhibur Rahman, and Dawood Walilay, from Rugby, Warwickshire, each had five suitcases containing a total of £291kg of tobacco.
Isleworth Crown Court, West London, heard all three were of previous good character.
Mastermind: Sahil Sheikh, 19, led, organised and funded 'what he thought was a sophisticated plot'
Accomplice: Sheikh (left) recruited Dawood Walilay (right) and Muhibur Rahman to help transport the shisha
Sheikh was sentenced to 28 weeks in jail, suspended for 18 months, and ordered to carry out 180 hours of unpaid work.
Rahman, 21, was sentenced to 120 hours of unpaid work, and Walilay, 20, to 150 hours.
All three had pleaded guilty to tobacco smuggling and conspiracy offences under the Customs and Excise Management Act 1979 at an earlier hearing.
HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), which carried out the investigation said the revenue due on the shisha tobacco - smoked using a water pipe - was about £58,300.
John Cooper, assistant director of
criminal investigation for HMRC, said: 'Sheikh led and organised what he
thought was a sophisticated plot, along with his gang members, to get
rich quick by lining his own pockets through smuggling and selling
illicit tobacco to the Leicestershire community.
'In effect, he stole taxpayers' cash by not paying duty on the goods.'
Isleworth Crown Court heard the trio, including Dawood Walilay (pictured), were of previous good character
Tip off: The gang were detained on arrival at Heathrow airport, where Customs officers found the photos
Headlines Newsview all
A renowned militant leader in Benue State, Terwase Akwaza aka Ghana, has surrendered 84 guns to the state government as part of the ongoing amnesty ... Full story
Wickedness!! Nigerian Police Kills Innocent Widow After Hitting Her Repeatedly With Gun Butt (Photos)
Unrepentant police officers in Ondo State have allegedly killed Aderonke Eze, a widow who owns a “mini bear parlor joint” close to her residence in ... Full story
The Federal Government on Tuesday arraigned a former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd), before a Federal High Court in Abuja on one count ... Full story
Rate this article
Nollywood actor, Mike Ezuruonye, is not happy with the way some hoodlums are denting his image badly. He is furious that some people are using ...
Sultry Yoruba actress, Biodun Okeowo, known in the industry as Tolani Oshirin is without doubts one of the hottest and most talented Yoruba-speaking actresses on ...
The word ‘Gerara hia meehn’ has practically become one the biggest social media sensations in recent times and the inventor, Nollywood comic actor, Francis Odega ...
Ramsey Nouah is making a strong push for excellence in Nollywood by raising the standards of his acting. After recently playing a lot of romantic roles ...
Famous Hong Kong actor and stunt artist, Jackie Chan gave a shout out to Nigerians in promotion of his highly anticipated movie, Dragon Blade. Hollywood actor, ... Full story
Nollywood actress, Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde, is not really happy with the way some set of people reason when it comes to some matters. Recently, the multiple award-winning ...
Some might say Ghanaian actress, Yvonne Nelson, has not been very lucky with keeping a romantic relationship for long. Few years ago, she was in a ...
Body odour is one issue that is giving some people sleepless nights and a top Nollywood actress, Nse Ikpe Etim has asked if you can ...
Martial started his career at Lyon before joining Monaco in the summer of 2013 for a reported £3.5m fee. He scored 11 goals for the ... Full story
Primitive is a period drama shot in the second quarter of 2015. It was directed by Iyke Odife (Burning Tears, Beauty and the Beast), and ...