Trial date set for alleged Northampton multi-million pound illegal cigarette gang

The five men are accused of running a sophisticated operation to move, sell and smuggle cigarettes illegally

Friday, 30th April 2021, 1:31 pm
Updated Friday, 30th April 2021, 1:32 pm
Five men accused of running a multi-million pound illegal cigarette operation in Northampton have been set for trial.

Five men charged with allegedly running a multi-million pound organised crime group in Northampton will stand trial next year.

The alleged gang are accused of avoiding approximately £2.1m in duty on over six million cigarettes as well as possessing hundreds of thousands of pounds of cash made through crime.

The defendants were arrested in February after police reportedly stopped a vehicle in Northampton and discovered £350,000 in cash stashed under the carpet of the passenger side seat.

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Shortly afterwards, police arrested:

■ Piotr Baranowski, 41, of Lincoln Road, Peterborough; charged with possessing criminal property, namely £350,000 in cash.

■ Adrian Gherghel, 40, of Hood Street, Northampton; charged with possession of criminal property, namely £70,000 in cash, and fraudulently avoiding duty charges on 6.1million cigarettes worth £2.1m.

■ Khursheed Kadir, 45, of Ludgate Close, Tividale; charged with possessing criminal property, namely £70,000 in cash.

■ Xoshawl Kalend, 42, of Southampton Road, Northampton; charged with possessing criminal property, namely £70,000 in cash.

■ Alin Latco, 45, of HMP Peterborough; charged with possessing criminal property, namely £70,000 in cash, as well as became concerned in an arrangement that facilitated the handling of criminal property, namely £350,000 in cash by or on behalf of Piotr Baranowski.

At Northampton Crown Court on April 30, the five men pleaded not guilty to all charges against them. They will stand trial in March 2022.