Doncaster crook’s gold dummy sold

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A solid gold baby’s dummy confiscated from a Doncaster crook made only £500 at auction.

But other valuables seized by Customs officers from Daniel Harty, who masterminded a cigarette smuggling operation, made more than £180,000 for the public purse.

The jewellery was seized as part of criminal proceedings against Harty, of Hall Villa Lane, Toll Bar, who is currently serving four years and six months in prison after being convicted in November 2012.

The items included a 9ct diamond cocktail ring which sold for £60,000 and a diamond-encrusted Rolex watch, which sold for more than £20,000. The proceeds of the sale will go towards paying the £356,000 confiscation order made against Harty, which must be settled by January 2015 or he will face a further two and a half years in prison.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has also launched a public appeal for help in its search for ‘Most Wanted’ tobacco smuggler John Sabin, an associate of Harty.

Sabin, 58, from Scawthorpe, was part of an eight-strong Yorkshire gang that transported millions of cigarettes throughout the north of England to warehouses, storage yards and farms.

He fled justice after being convicted for his part in a £26 million tobacco smuggling operation which involved more than 150 million illicit cigarettes and tonnes of low quality tobacco. He was subsequently sentenced in his absence to two years and nine months in prison.

Dave Cowie, Assistant Director, Criminal Investigation, HMRC, said: “Along with the other members of the gang, John Sabin made a significant amount of money from his criminal activities, importing and distributing duty-free cigarettes.

“I urge anyone with information on Sabin’s whereabouts to come forward, so that we can make sure he serves the sentence handed to him by the courts, and begin to reclaim some of his criminal profits for the public purse. Anyone with information on his whereabouts can contact our hotline on 0800 59 5000.”