Two former Ryanair stewards have escaped jail after trying to smuggle nearly 14,000 duty free cigarettes between them into Britain.
Gemma Phillips and Adam McEvatt walked free from Manchester Magistrates Court today but both have already resigned from their jobs because of the nature of the crime and are facing disciplinary proceedings.
Phillips was caught at Liverpool John Lennon airport on 20 August after a flight from the Canary Islands. She had tried to sneak 7,800 Canary Kingsize cigarettes in her luggage. McEvatt was caught minutes later with 6,000 cigarettes.
Both, who were not on duty at the time, admitted evading tax duty.
Sentencing, District Judge Jonathan Taaffe told the pair: "I am prepared to accept this was an isolated act. On your part it was an attempt to nearly raise funds on your own behalf. Nevertheless it is a serious matter, it is not a victimless crime, people who avoid revenue payment make the rest of us suffer.'
Laws introduced last year restrict holidaymakers returning from most EU countries to 800 cigarettes and 1kg of rolling tobacco duty free, but the Canaries, although part of the EU, has separate fiscal laws and as such the duty free allowance for pasengers returing from the islands is 200 cigarettes and 250g of tobacco.
This article was amended at 12.20pm to include accurate information on duty-free allowances
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
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