Trio to pay £300,000

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THREE people who smuggled millions of potentially lethal fake cigarettes into the UK for sale on the streets of South Yorkshire have been ordered to pay back nearly £300,000 to the authorities.

Darren Remmington, aged 45, of Yews Lane, Worsbrough Dale, Noreen Turner, 64, from Hill Crest, Hoyland, and Jennifer Saunders, 37, of Little Stubbing, Wombwell, all Barnsley, were arrested as part of Operation Liquidate, in July last year, along with Danny Dougherty, 45, of Yews Avenue, and Julie Dougherty, 54, of High Street, both Worsbrough Dale.

Policed seized more than 2.1 million cigarettes from them, some of which were counterfeit and some had been manufactured in the Baltic specifically for smuggling markets.

Remmington was jailed for two-and-a-half years, Saunders was given a 12-month sentence suspended for two years, Turner was given three-months in prison suspended for 12 months, Danny Dougherty was jailed for two years and Julie Dougherty received a three-month curfew order after a hearing at Doncaster Crown Court.

They were back in court in Sheffield for a Proceeds of Crime Act hearing to seize their assets.

The court heard Remmington was estimated to have made £345,010 from the scam but only had £234,500.

He must pay it back in six months or face another two years, eight months in jail.

Saunders made £40,857 illegally and was ordered to pay back £36,930 or face another 13 months in jail.

Dougherty was deemed to have benefited from his crimes to the tune of £37,500 but only has £110 to pay back. He must pay the bill within six months.

Proceeds of Crime Act proceedings against Turner were discharged.

South Yorkshire Police began investigating in summer 2008.

The five were arrested following a series of lunchtime raids in November 2008.

Officers seized more than 2.1million cigarettes, purporting to be Jin Lings, Raquel, Super Kings and GB brands, which were likely to have fetched between £20 and £30 per sleeve of 200 on the streets of Barnsley.