Beer, vodka and cigarettes - Damian’s perfect business in the perfect place in Ely until HMRC came calling and charged him with fraud
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A 26 year-old man from Littleport had the perfect business – a steady stream of customers, a pitch outside a fruit and vegetable packing plant in Ely and a healthy turnover.
But Damian Trojak’s entrepreneurial spirit came to an end at Cambridge Crown Court when his illegal cigarette, vodka and beer stall cost him a six months suspended sentence.
He was also ordered to undertake 240 hours of community service.
Trojak, of Woodfen Road, was charged with being fraudulently concerned in the evasion of duty.
He had in his possession 9,980 cigarettes, 56.3 litres of vodka and 546 litres of beer in his car.
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Maddy Ratnett from the HM Revenue Customs said the total excise duty due on the goods seized is estimated as £3,614.
The court was told on Thursday that Trojak was seen selling vodka, beer and cigarettes from his car outside a fruit and vegetable packing plant near Ely.
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HMRC officers were called and arrested Trojak and found that the story he told them did not add up.
He appeared to be making a loss on his “sales”- to explain this he claimed that a further 84 litres of vodka had been hidden in his home and that he had drunk the lot.
The court also did not believe his stories; he claimed that he was not selling smuggled goods but checking the viability of setting up an online business selling alcohol and cigarettes and they found him guilty of three counts of excise fraud on 26 June 2015.
Ms Ratnett said: “Selling smuggled alcohol and tobacco goods without paying the duty is fraud. This criminal activity damages not only the UK economy but the livelihoods of local Ely shop keepers who have to compete against this illegal trade.
“If you know of anyone peddling these illegal goods please report them on our 24 hour hotline 0800 59 5000.”