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
OnlineNigeria News received the most current preliminary national presidential election results, provided by a credible source. The below table shows that the All Progressives Congress (APC) ... Full story
The Resident Electoral Commissioner in Yobe, Habu Zarma, on Sunday said the electoral commission, INEC, had postponed elections indefinitely in 18 polling units in Giedam ... Full story
Rate this article
The recent visit of First Lady Dame Patience Jonathan to Enugu has left a big scar on Nollywood. This is because the police in Enugu ...
Nigerian Prophet T.B. Joshua has warned of the death of a prominent politician due to ‘heated up’ politics in the wake of the closely fought ...
A while ago, a beautiful young lady was spotted driving an uncommon white coloured ride on Awolowo Road, Ikoyi. It drew attention of all around the ...
Dillish Mattew Just two years ago, Dillish Mattew won the huge sum of $300k, which could serve a life time if managed properly. But the reverse ...
Celebrity couple, Osas Ighodaro and Gbenro Ajibade hosted a House of Lux event in Eko Hotel and Suites, Lagos last weekend. Osas wore an orange ...
If there is somebody that is really making it big as far as the entertainment industry is concerned for now, it’s definitely Hip-hop act, Adedeji ...
As we await the result of the presidential election, let us continue to sound it loud and clear, as Rev. Chris Okotie did in his ...
Behind every successful man is a woman. These women are married to men who are major contenders for the presidential and vice presidential positions in ...
Determined to exercise her civil obligations, aged mom of veteran Nollywood actress, Dr. Abimbola Silva stirred the hearts of other Nigerians when she appeared to ...
Controversial Abuja based actress, Empress Njamah, sure has a heart of Gold. She has joined the league of stars that are extending hands of help to ...