A businessman has been jailed for his role in the country’s largest cigarette smuggling case.
The man and his company have interim name suppression and appeared at the Auckland District Court on Thursday after earlier admitting charges of defrauding customs, making erroneous entries in customs documents and selling goods without paying duties.
The operation involved the smuggling of over 19 million cigarettes into Auckland, hidden inside office cabinets imported from China. The smuggling avoided excise customs duties of over $18 million.
When the tax is $1 a cigarette the black market becomes a very attractive proposition for smugglers.