Smuggler jailed

IPSWICH smuggler Timm Burger is today behind bars after his second failed attempt to beat UK customs law.Ipswich Crown Court heard the 43-year-old had already served nearly two years in prison for previously smuggling contraband.

IPSWICH smuggler Timm Burger is today behind bars after his second failed attempt to beat UK customs law.

Ipswich Crown Court heard the 43-year-old had already served nearly two years in prison for previously smuggling contraband.

Judge Peter Thompson had no hesitation in sending him back to jail after he failed to learn his lesson.

He said: "No doubt the [Maidstone] judge hoped you would see sense and not attempt this type of thing again.


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"In fact you didn't see sense, you tried it on again and you were caught. A prison sentence is appropriate in your case."

Burger, of Gatacre Road, Ipswich, admitted evading customs duty on more than 8,000 cigarettes, 2,000 cigars, nearly 4kg of rolling tobacco, nearly 200l of beer, more than 200l of wine and about 100l of spirits.

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Under questioning from Judge Thompson, mitigation lawyer Matthew Sherratt said Burger had invested 2,000 Euro in the failed smuggling attempt, which had dodged duty to the tune of £1,500.

He said his client had gone on to disability allowance after leaving jail in 2001 and had mounted the operation because he was "hard-up".

Mr Sherratt said he hoped Judge Thompson could avoid issuing a jail term because of the relatively low value of dodged duty.

But he admitted a community punishment was not really a viable sentence because of Burger's chronic back condition.

Mr Sherratt said because the offence was at the lower end of the scale a fine could be seen as an appropriate sentence.

But Judge Thompson disagreed and said Burger's previous offence meant only a prison term was acceptable and sentenced him to four months.

After the sentencing Jim Jarvie, HM Customs assistant chief investigations officer based in Ipswich, said: "It wasn't the largest amount of contraband, but we are trying to stop smuggling at all levels. Mr Burger got a custodial sentence and it sends a message to people not to get involved no matter what the rewards."

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