Man found with thousands of illegally imported cigarettes which were marked as air cleaners

A Claremorris man who was found in possession of more than 1,000 packs of cigarettes was convicted and fined €2,500 at Claremorris District Court this week. Vitalijs Solovejs, 42 Ashfield Court, Claremorris, pleaded guilty in court to the charges against him. Customs officer John Flynn stated that on June 22 2010 he obtained a search warrant to search the home of Solovejs and carried out a search. During it he found a box that contained 21,200 cigarettes which equated to 1,060 individual boxes of 20 cigarettes. The court was told the retail value of the items seized would have been just under €10,000 and that the total loss of revenue to the State would have been €5,780.21.

Flynn told the court that Solovejs told him he ordered the cigarettes online over Skype and paid for them when they arrived through a Western Union money transfer and that he paid €24 per carton of 200 cigarettes. Flynn said Solovejs told him that was the third time he had done this and he sold the cigarettes to friends for the price it cost him to bring them in and that they were delivered by normal postal means. Judge Mary Devins asked what was the declared goods on the postage documentation, State solicitor Mr Vincent Deane told the court that the package said it contained “air cleaners”. Judge Mary Devins convicted and fined Solovejs €2,500.

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