Foreign Royal bailed over fags fraud

PUBLISHED: 14:15 02 July 2001 | UPDATED: 10:18 03 March 2010

A MEMBER of the former Iranian royal family has been released on bail by Ipswich magistrates charged with his part in a multi-million pound cigarette smuggling racket.

A MEMBER of Iran's former royal family has been released on bail by Ipswich magistrates charged with being involved in a multi-million-pound cigarette smuggling racket.

Benham Qajar-Alagha, the great grandson of the former Shah of Persia, had appeared before South-East Suffolk Magistrates on June 13, the day after being arrested by customs officers.

He has been charged with the fraudulent evasion of duty on

31 million cigarettes, which were smuggled through the

Port of Felixstowe.

Qajar-Alagha, 55, and colleague Ronald Brennan, 70, who is the chairman at Dayfield Technology, were released on bail in return for a third party surety of £100,000 on each of the accused.

However, the provider of the surety (a sum of money guaranteed by someone prepared to forfeit that money if the defendant does not answer bail at court) has been changed by the magistrates.

They ruled that the original provider, Mohammed Rashid, a company director at Dayfield Technology, was unsuitable.

Magistrates decided that Hazel Wilson would be more suitable to provide the surety for both men. Ms Wilson owns a seven-bedroom property in Epsom, Surrey, at which Qajar-Alagha rents a number of rooms.

The two men will re-appear in court on July 26.

Conditions state that Qajar-Alagha must live at his home in Epsom and report twice daily to Epsom police station between 9am-10am and between 6pm-7pm. Brennan was told to live at his home in Chiselhurst, Kent, and report daily to Bromley police station.

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