A cross channel ferry worker and his wife have been convicted of smuggling thousands of illicit cigarettes into the UK, and selling them from their home.

The couple, who were caught red-handed while attempting to smuggle more than 6,000 illicit cigarettes off a ferry at Harwich International Port, have been ordered to repay over £80,000 within six months, or they will face custodial jail terms.

HM Revenue & Customs spokesman Bob Gaiger said: “Confiscation proceedings show that our work doesn’t stop once someone is convicted; we then take action to reclaim the profits of their crime. 

“If the couple fail to pay back the order they will have to serve a custodial jail term and will still owe the money. If you have information relating to this type of crime, please call our 24-hour hotline on 0800 59 5000 or email: customs.hotline@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk and help us stamp out criminal activity.”