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Last gang member jailed

The last member of a gang who helped set up a fake company to defraud HMRC of £131 million in tax has been jailed.

Dutch national Marius Klein, who was extradited from Poland, was the last of a ten-men gang involved in setting up a fake tobacco factory capable of producing 625 million counterfeit cigarettes to be jailed. His sentence was for two year and six months.

The fraud was uncovered when HMRC, who had long been tracking the gang's movements, moved in and closed down the factory in Chesterfield, Derbyshire, before it entered production in October 2009.

From his base in Poland, Klein organised the manufacture, production and sale of counterfeit cigarettes. HMRC has already seized 1.3 million cigarettes from the gang in co-ordinated searches.

In passing sentence Judge Jonathan Teare said the gang's expectations had simply been 'to make a very great amount of money - in fact millions.'

HMRC Assistant Director of Criminal Investigation Gary Lampon had admitted the scale of the fraud was 'staggering'.

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