Men caught with 10m cigarettes at Huggate farm

Michael Haley, Rafal Miller, and Grzegorz Kojak were sentenced at Hull Crown Court.
Michael Haley, Rafal Miller, and Grzegorz Kojak were sentenced at Hull Crown Court.

A man from Beverley and his two Polish accomplices have been jailed after hiding a huge haul of smuggled cigarettes on a village farm.

Michael Haley, 39, originally from Walkington, near Beverley (now living in Bradford), was caught with more than 10 million cigarettes as he and Polish nationals Rafal Miller, 37, and Grzegorz Kojak, 50, unloaded them from a van at a farm in Huggate.

The contraband was worth over £3million in unpaid duty and was concealed inside metal containers packed in cardboard boxes.

The van, a warehouse and a lorry trailer on the farm were all found to contain illegal cigarettes when HMRC officers raided the property on Driffield Road in September 2018.

One other man fled the scene and remains at large.

The trio admitted excise fraud at an earlier hearing in March and were sentenced at Hull Crown Court on December 13.

They were each jailed for three years and nine months.

HMRC’s deputy director of fraud investigation Brett Wilkinson said: “This was a deliberate attempt to flood the streets with illegal cigarettes and deprive our public services of millions of pounds.

“Haley, Kojak and Miller thought their smuggling scam would go unnoticed – but they were wrong and now they are paying the price.

“We will continue to pursue criminals who think stealing from taxpayers is acceptable.

“I urge anyone who has information about the smuggling, selling or storing of illicit tobacco to report it to HMRC online or by calling our Fraud Hotline on 0800 788 887.”