Lowestoft pub landlord faces six smuggling charges

A LOWESTOFT pub landlord appeared in court this week over allegations he smuggled more than a million cigarettes into the UK.

Robert Payne, 60, who owns and lives at the Tudor Rose in St Peters Street, was arrested in February after police on the A12 at Woodbridge stopped a van he was driving which contained 60,000 Russian cigarettes.

Payne, who is self-employed, faces six charges under the Customs and Excise Management Act involving the alleged import/export of goods with intent to defraud HM Customs of duty payable. The six charges involve 60,000 king-size filter cigarettes, 1,179,960 cigarettes and 385.45kg of hand-rolling tobacco. They date from January 2008 to February 21 and relate to Woodbridge and Lowestoft.

He also faces a charge of entering into an arrangement involving the acquisition, retention, use or control of criminal property, namely �46,630 in an Avon bag, by or on behalf of another person.

On Tuesday, Payne appeared at Lowestoft Magistrates' Court and he was committed to appear at Ipswich Crown Court on September 23 for a plea and case management hearing.

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