£36k duty-free bill
THE ringleader of a criminal gang who illegally purchased millions of duty-free cigarettes from Gatwick and other airports has been ordered to pay back more than £36,000.
Michael Pitt, 48, was jailed for five years in September 2011 but could face an extra 14 months behind bars if he cannot pay back the cash.
Pitt was the driving force of the gang, who bought 2.3 million cigarettes from airports' duty-free areas then left without catching a flight.
The gang avoided an estimated £545,000 in duty between February 2009 and May 2010.
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HM Revenue & Customs assistant director of criminal investigation Robert Alder said: "Pitt's motivation was pure greed."