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Three people in same Berkshire family smuggle cigarettes worth over £1.3 million in lost tax

Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs

A father, son and daughter from Berkshire have been convicted of smuggling offences worth more than £1.3 million in lost tax.

The illicit goods were imported from China and Hong Kong, in containers such as lights, holding metal parts and sometimes even toy train-set boxes.

William Powell, 68 and from Twyford, is starting 30 months in jail for his part in the operation.


Some cigarettes were hidden in children’s toys.

His son William Junior from Reading, and daughter Lorraine Bennett from Finchampstead, were both given suspended prison sentences.

Despite the trio being arrested on suspicion of Excise Duty fraud on various dates between 2015 and 2017, further packages were still sent to their addresses.

They had over 1,800 kilos of tobacco and 97,000 counterfeit tobacco pouches seized by Border Force and HMRC officers - some of which were taken from a garage in Reading.

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