TWO men have made their first appearance at court accused of possessing more than a quarter of a million smuggled cigarettes on which almost £60,000 of tax had not been paid.
Darren Stanley, 41, of Cliff House, Bennetts Lane, South Shore, Blackpool, and Daniel Brown, 27, of Richey Close, Arnold, Nottingham, are both charged with being concerned in carrying 273,820 cigarettes on which £58,173 VAT duty was payable with intent to defraud.
The offence is alleged to have taken place at Blackpool on February 3 this year.
Stanley is also charged with driving a Ford Transit van dangerously in the resort on the same day while trying to evade Customs and Excise officers pursuing him.
Louise Brandon, prosecuting, asked for the case to be heard at crown court. Defence lawyers said their clients would not indicate their pleas at this stage.Blackpool magistrates bailed the defendants to September 13 for the committal of their case to Preston Crown Court.