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
Three children abandoned in a boarding school in Abule-Iroko in the Ado-Odo Ota Local Government Area of Ogun State are longing to meet their parents ... Full story
Rate this article
A 30-year-old woman who has been denied action on bed by her husband has begged the court to dissolve her marriage of 18 years to ...
Popular Nollywood bad boy, Jim Iyke has joined other entertainers who have gone into politics. But unlike his other colleagues, he isn’t contesting for any ...
I know many will be surprised at this opinion but it is an honest and frank progression of thoughts from an open-minded individual, not emboldened ...
Do you have a story/gist for publication? Please email it to firstname.lastname@example.org Igwe | 10/22/2014 5:57:30 PM Even if Tiwa wanted to have an affair,Aid? No way! ...
Nigeriafilms.com has been informed that the Governor of Delta State, Emmanuel Uduaghan has promised to ensure that the killers of Nollywood actor, Clems Onyeka, who ...
Award-winning Nollywood director and producer, Dickson Iroegbu is definitely one of the proud fathers and husbands in the film industry. The controversial filmmaker is not ...
Top comedian, Ayo Makun, better known as AY, has stated one of the reasons he may never want to venture into politics as some of ...
Piracy in Nigeria has almost become a deadly virus that has no cure. Despite many efforts to force the cankerworm to its knees, the menace ...
The latest trend of entertainers massively going into politics has made some of their fans to begin to have the notion that it must have ...
Nollywood actress Laide Bakare, has been delivered of a bouncing baby boy in USA, where she has been for months after her new husband, Alhaji ...