Man hid 35,000 cigarettes and 100kg of tobacco in laundry bags down M74 embankment after crash with lorry

A 41-year-old man hid laundry bags and cardboard boxes full of illicit cigarettes and tobacco down an embankment off a Scottish motorway after crashing with a lorry.

Factory worker Ayub Said was caught following the collision on the M74 near Abington, South Lanarkshire, in September 2018.

As police and paramedics travelled to the scene, Said climbed out of the driver’s side window and carried laundry bags and cardboard boxes from his car down the motorway embankment.

Officers carried out a search of the area when they arrived and found 99.5kg of tobacco and 35,000 cigarettes stashed inside the bags and boxes, about five metres down the embankment.

He stashed the cigarettes and tobacco in laundry bags and cardboard boxes.

The case was referred to HMRC investigators and the goods were seized. Said, from Coventry, refused to answer questions when interviewed.

In March, he pleaded guilty to evading £32,396 in excise duty at Lanark Sheriff Court and was sentenced on April 28 to 260 hours unpaid work and given a restriction of liberty order.

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Poilce were called to the crash and made the discovery.

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The illicit goods were seized.

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