South Yorkshire smuggler found poolside in Spain

Malcolm McGowan - convicted cigarette smuggler
Malcolm McGowan - convicted cigarette smuggler
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A convicted cigarette smuggler who spent 12 years on the run is finally behind bars - after being tracked down to a swimming pool in Spain.

Malcolm McGowan, aged 61, fled the UK after a smuggling network was smashed and 3.3 million cigarettes were discovered in a storage unit in Wath-upon-Dearne, Rotherham. McGowan was convicted of smuggling 28.3 million cigarettes into the country as part of a wider conspiracy, involving 10 others, to smuggle 56 million cigarettes into the UK between November 1999 and March 2000 - robbing the UK taxpayer of over £8.2m.

McGowan was sentenced at Sheffield Crown Court in his absence in 2001 - and was missing until last month when he was found beside a swimming pool in Valencia.

Following his arrest by the Guardia Civil he was extradited to the UK and appeared at court on Friday.

Jailing him at Sheffield Crown Court, Judge Julian Goose QC said: “You sought to evade justice and have been on the run for 12 years. You will now serve the four-year sentence you were given.”