Community service for illegal cigs

Tobacco seized by HMRC officers from a package addressed to Lynda Robb's Bo'ness home.
Tobacco seized by HMRC officers from a package addressed to Lynda Robb's Bo'ness home.

A Bo’ness woman who sold illegal cigarettes and tobacco from her doorstep has been sentenced for evasion of £3,709.76 excise duty, contrary to S170 of the Customs and Excise Management Act.

Lynda Robb (58) of Livingstone Drive, would receive packages in the post containing non-duty paid goods and sell them from her home, a HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) investigation found.

The fraud unravelled when a damaged package containing 7.5kg tobacco addressed to Robb’s home, was intercepted by HMRC. It included 2.5kg of Robin Hood tobacco, which isn’t sold in the UK.

In May 2018, HMRC officers searched the house where they found cigarettes and more tobacco that was non-duty paid.

The duty evaded on all the goods was £3,709.76, while much of the tobacco was tested and found to be counterfeit.

An HMRC spokesperson said: “Robb sold illegal cigarettes and tobacco to line her own pockets, while undercutting honest, hard-working retailers who do the right thing.

“Disrupting criminal trade is at the heart of our strategy to clampdown on the illicit tobacco market, which costs the UK around £2.5 billion a year.

“We encourage anyone with information about the illegal sale of tobacco to contact our Fraud Hotline on 0800 788 887.”

Robb was interviewed and charged with the evasion of excise duty in May 2018 and pleaded guilty to the charge at Falkirk Sheriff Court on June 26, 2019.

She was sentenced before the same court last Thursday (July 18) to a Community Payback Order of 75 hours unpaid work, to be completed within three months.