If you have been accused of smuggling under the Customs and Excise Management 1979, it means that you are suspected of the illegal importation of goods or the evasion of customs duties and taxation. The penalty for smuggling or any other excise related offence is likely to be severe, as these crimes have been the subject of a long-running crackdown by HMRC.
How Can DBT & Partners Help?
As just mentioned, the punishment for smuggling in the UK can be weighty, which is why, if you find yourself the subject of a HMRC smuggling enquiry, it’s very important that you make contact with specialist smuggling offences solicitors as soon as you can.
Our legal experts are highly experienced in successfully defending individuals accused of smuggling. We’ll look through the circumstances of your alleged offence and work with you to gather evidence to support your case, and we’ll also represent you in court to help you achieve a fair outcome.
Matters Related to Smuggling Offences
If you are facing punishment for smuggling in the UK, you may be suspected of:
- Tax fraud
- Diversion fraud
- Excise fraud
- The importation of prohibited goods
- Illegal manufacture of excise goods
- Contravention of customs law
- VAT, Invoice and Payment Fraud
It is common for innocent individuals to be implicated in smuggling crimes without ever being aware that what they are doing is part of an illegal process. In these cases, an individual may be recruited by criminal individuals who control the information they are party to. The person may be kept in the dark in order to conceal any evidence of wrongdoing or to serve as a scapegoat who will take the punishment in place of those truly at fault.
Penalty for Smuggling
Any penalty for smuggling depends on the following criteria:
- The overall value and quantity of the items being smuggled
- The size of the smuggling operation
- If the goods smuggled are drugs, their classification and street value
- Any outside influences, i.e. gang relations
- The intention or purpose of the smuggling
Not only will the goods in question be seized by law enforcement officials, but the most serious smuggling cases may see the perpetrators jailed for up to seven years, though if an individual is found to have been smuggling weapons or large quantities of Class A drugs, they may face a life sentence – which is why seeking the services of trusted smuggling offences solicitors is vital at the earliest possible stage of the proceedings.
Smuggling Offences: Frequently Asked Questions
What constitutes smuggling?
Smuggling is defined as the “improper importation of goods” whether they are “goods chargeable with a duty which has not been paid” or “goods the importation, landing or unloading of which is for the time being prohibited or restricted by or under any enactment.”
What is the maximum penalty for smuggling?
If you have been accused of smuggling, you may be sentenced to up to 7 years in prison – or, if the goods in question were particularly dangerous, for example guns or Class A drugs, you may face a lifetime custodial term.
What should I do if I’ve been accused of smuggling?
Due to the severity of the punishments connected with this offence, you should make contact with smuggling offences solicitors as soon as you become aware that you are a suspect. Your legal representatives will work closely with you to ensure that all evidence is expertly presented on your behalf in order to see justice done.
The experienced smuggling offences solicitors at DBT & Partners will provide you with detailed and clear advice and support throughout the court proceedings related to your case. If you’ve been accused of smuggling or any other excise offence, get in touch with us as soon as possible.
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