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Opus Represent H in ‘UKs Largest Illegal Tobacco Factory’ Case

Ben Jones, Director, represented H in this matter before the Sheffield Crown Court, brought by HMRC and known as Operation Hairball 2. The operation was described as the disruption of the UKs largest ever discovered illegal tobacco factory in which it was said that approximately £12 million of cigarette duty was evaded.


Our client entered a guilty plea at an early stage of the proceedings and sought to mitigate his role in the enterprise by way of a basis of plea. Our client stated that he was a customer of the factory rather than being associated with its running. As the offences were committed in 2015, and the matter sentenced in 2020, we also sought to mitigate the substantial delay in this case, which sadly is becoming a common feature in large cases.  


The judge accepted that a discount to our clients sentence must be given for his early guilty plea, and allowed 25% for that timely plea. The judge also allowed our client a further 15% credit for the substantial delay in this case. As such, our client received a substantially reduced sentence to a lengthy prison sentence, which was inevitable in a case of this type.


Andrew Alty of Carmelite Chambers was instructed in this case.


Read more about the case using the links below:


Case represented by Ben Jones, Opus Law.

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