A FLIGHT attendant has been jailed for carrying out a €230,000 tobacco smuggling operation between the UK and Spain.
Dennis Connolly has been handed a 21-month jail sentence for masterminding a cigarette smuggling operation by using his staff discount privileges to pay for flights.
The easyJet flight attendant was heavily in debt after he took to online gambling to deal with the grief of losing his boyfriend to pancreatic cancer in 2007.
Connolly employed a variety of people to travel to destinations around Spain and Portugal for day trips and short breaks. He then gave information on the rotation of customs officials to the smugglers working for him, so that they could sneak the cigarettes back into the UK.
The cigarettes would then be sold at bargain prices on the British Black Market, and as no Customs Duty had been paid on the tobacco, Connolly was able to make a profit.
All in all, it is thought that Connolly snuck 1,000 kilos of tobacco into the UK: avoiding €230,000 in tax duty over a three-year period.
The law caught-up with the flight attendant last April when three of his smugglers were stopped at customs with a large quantity of cigarettes in their suitcases.
The tickets that the three men were travelling with were linked back to Connolly’s flight bookings. As an employee of easyJet, he was able to purchase a large quantity of tickets on the cheap.
Connolly admitted to having committed the crimes of ‘conspiracy to evade duty’ and ‘possession of criminal property’ at Manchester Crown Court, and was jailed for 21 months by the judge.