Bus worker caught selling almost 10,000 cigarettes online fined €2,500

Bus worker caught selling almost 10,000 cigarettes online fined €2,500
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A Dublin bus worker caught selling almost 10,000 untaxed cigarettes online has been fined €2,500.

Father-of-two Istvan Szabo, 44, of 10 Willan’s Row, Ongar Green, Dublin, pleaded guilty to a charge under the Finance Act.

He was accused of having 9,790 cigarettes with no tax stamp on January 1, 2018.

Judge Anthony Halpin heard at Dublin District Court that custom and excise officers became aware Szabo was offering cigarettes for sale on the internet.

A search warrant was obtained and the cigarettes along with a 0.15kg of tobacco was found. He was interviewed and admitted he placed the advert on the internet.

He told the customs officers he had purchased the cigarettes from a person in the North and he had intended to sell them. Judge Halpin was told that €3,606 in duty was evaded.

Judge Halpin noted he could impose fines ranging between €2,500 and €5,000 and the accused had no prior criminal convictions. The offence can also carry a 12-month jail sentence.

Pleading for leniency, defence counsel Beatrice Vance said her client worked for Dublin Bus and she asked the court to note he pleaded guilty at an early stage.

Judge Halpin said he was mitigating the fine down to the least amount possible. Szabo was given 12 months to pay.

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