Published Monday, 21 January 2013
The cigarettes were discovered after vehicles were searched near Banbridge. (© Getty)
Ashok (Brian) Kumar, 60 and from Mountainvale Crescent in Newtownabbey, was arrested in August 2010, after two vehicles were searched on the A1 near Banbridge.
The total excise duty and VAT not paid on the find, seized by HM Revenue and Customs [HMRC] officers, totalled £64,000.
Kumar was found guilty of being knowingly concerned in the fraudulent evasion or attempted evasion of excise duty and Value Added Tax, contrary to section 170(2) of the Customs and Excise Management Act 1979.
He was sentenced to three years - 18 months in prison and 18 months on licence - after he appeared at Laganside Court in Belfast on Friday.
John Whiting, Assistant Director Criminal Investigation at HMRC, said: "Tobacco smuggling is organised crime on a global scale. It encourages and supports criminality within our communities, robbing taxpayers of millions each year in unpaid duty and VAT."
Revenue and Customs telephone: 0800 59 5000
A confiscation hearing will take place on 8 February.