Man charged for smuggling vodka as EvianBy Lauren Eads
A northern Irish haulier has been charged with smuggling nearly £2 million worth of vodka disguised as Evian mineral water and vinegar into the UK.
Kieran Hughes, 55, is facing 15 charges for allegedly illegally importing spirits across the English Channel, according to a report in the Belfast Telegraph.
He is currently standing trial at Maidstone Crown Court with seven lorry drivers caught with the quantities of alcohol at Dover Eastern Docks in 2011 and 2012.
The prosecution has accused him of creating three fake companies to conceal illegal activities, providing documents to customs that claimed his sealed trucks carried Evian mineral water, vinegar or Chinese food.
Kevin Dent, prosecuting, told the court: “There are huge profits to be made from smuggling alcohol. Some of the lorry loads were worth over £100,000 each.
“The drivers needed cover stories to hide the fact they were carrying alcohol.
“It is clear it was being organised from one source. It appeared it was being organised by Kieran Hughes who owned a transport company based in Armagh.”