A airline passenger was apprehended at the airport attempting to sneak over 83,000 cigarettes into the United Kingdom.
Samuel Onyemenam, 50, was detained as he arrived at Newcastle International Airport on a journey from Nigeria via Germany.
Border Force officers X-rayed three of his baggage and discovered that two of them were stuffed with smokes.
A total of 83,600 cigarettes were discovered, which would have cost £28,000 in duty.
When Onyemenam appeared in court this week, he was arrested and pleaded guilty to fraudulently escaping duty, according to the Chronicle Live.
He said he was only shipping cigarettes for his cousin and had made no money from the plan.
However, his claims were not accepted by District Judge Jayne Bryan who told him “I don’t accept what you’re saying at face value.”
“It’s what we call a trial of issue and it will decide on what basis you will be sentenced on.
“I’m going to adjourn your case until May 3 back at this court. You will have unconditional bail to return to this court on that date and time.
“If you don’t attend, a warrant could be issued for your arrest.”
Newcastle Magistrates’ Court was told that Onyemenam arrived at Newcastle International Airport on a flight from Nigeria via Germany on November 26 last year.
Rob Lawson, prosecuting, added: “He had three suitcases with him.
“Border Force officers informed him that they were going to X-ray his suitcases and two were found to contain a large quantity of cigarettes, 83,600. The duty evaded was £28,530.17.”
Paul Kennedy, defending, said Onyemenam, who has no past convictions, stood by his claim that he was transporting the cigarettes for his cousin and made no financial gain. Mr Kennedy continued: “It was an opportunistic, one-off offence.”