A MAN who tried to smuggle 47,000 cigarettes though Prestwick Airport has been sentenced.

James Thomson, 68, was stopped by Border Force officers on April 22, 2018 after arriving on a flight from Gran Canaria.

The cigarettes that were found inside his luggage, were seized and the case was referred to HMRC for investigation. The duty evaded on the cigarettes was £15,426.

A HMRC spokesperson said: “Thomson knew what he was doing was illegal, yet he still tried to pocket taxpayers’ money and undermine legitimate traders.

“Working closely alongside our Border Force colleagues, disrupting criminal trade is at the heart of our strategy to clampdown on the illicit tobacco market.

“We encourage anyone with information about the illegal sale of tobacco to contact our Fraud Hotline on 0800 788 887.”

Thomson pleaded guilty to Excise Duty fraud at Ayr Sheriff Court on July 29, 2019 and was handed a £700 fine before the same court on December 10, 2019.