AN IRISH lorry driver has been jailed for attempting to smuggle alcohol into Britain.
Sean McFadden, 34, of Brinalack, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal, was charged with three counts of alcohol smuggling on Tuesday, March 24, at Lewes Crown Court and sentenced to 21 months in prison.
He was arrested as he attempted to smuggle 63,342 litres of alcohol into Britain, stealing £90,000 in duty and taxes, in October 2012 near the Southbourne Business Park in Eastbourne.
When HMRC stopped him, they found 26 pallets, containing almost 14,826 litres of mixed beer - worth an estimated £29,000 in lost duty and taxes - hidden in his HGV.
Both the alcohol and HGV were seized.
McFadden had received formal cautions on two previous occasions for alcohol smuggling.
In December 2011 he was caught at a cash and carry in Barking, London, with 24,643 litres of mixed beer and in May 2012 at an industrial estate in Rainham, Essex, with a further 23,873 litres, worth £29,000 and £34,000 respectively.
David Margree, Assistant Director of Criminal Investigation, HMRC, said: “McFadden was only interested in lining his own pockets. He knew he was committing a crime, but continued even though he had previously been stopped and cautioned.
“He had no regard for the law or that he was stealing from the UK taxpayer and the country’s public finances. Excise evasion is a serious offence and, as this case shows, HMRC don’t hesitate to take action where we find evidence of fraud.”