July 25, 2007

QE2 used for cigarette smuggling, court told

This from Southampton's Daily Echo:

"A CREWMAN on Southampton's flagship liner QE2 was part of a smuggling scam that saw more than 1.8 million cigarettes brought into the country, a court heard.

Provisions manager Stephen Madden, 42, organised three separate consignments of contraband tobacco to be carried in the ship's hold during 2006, Southampton Crown Court was told.

Revenue and customs officers swooped in Southampton docks in October following a tip-off that more than 800,000 cigarettes were aboard the ship, pictured above.

They estimated that the haul would have had a street value of up to £250,000.

Madden denies three charges of fraudulent evasion of duty on tobacco."

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