July 30, 2007

QE2 man ‘told staff to lie about stash of cigarettes’

This from thisishampshire.net on the on-going trial of QE2 crew

" CREWMAN on the QE2 ordered staff to lie about an illegal shipment of cigarettes moments before customs questioned him in Southampton, a court has been told.

Jurors at Southampton Crown Court heard provisions master Stephen Madden became "worried" and made his Filipino crew move more than 800,000 cigarettes to the ship's car lift when it docked in October last year.

It is claimed that during 2006, 42-year-old Madden smuggled three separate shipments - a total of 1.8 million cigarettes - on to the flagship liner.

On the last occasion customs swooped after a tip-off and boarded the ship in Southampton.

Storekeeper Joaquin Bustamente told the court that Madden winked at him as officers searched the vessel for the contraband tobacco.

"I guess he was telling me to deny," he said."

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