A MALAYSIAN man will spend at least the next three years in an Australian prison after pleading guilty to smuggling more than six million cigarettes into the country.
Three Malaysian nationals were caught red-handed unpacking the tobacco in two factories in Melbourne in August 2017.
The cigarettes originated from Malaysia with a total alleged duty evasion of more than $4 million.
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All three men were arrested and charged under the Customs Act 1901, with possession of tobacco products, knowing that the goods were imported with the intention of defrauding revenue.
They were convicted and sentenced to between 16–24 months imprisonment for their involvement in the importations.
Three days after the trio was busted, two syndicate organisers were intercepted trying to leave Australia.
The pair was arrested and charged with organising the import of the six million smuggled cigarettes.
One of the organisers pleaded guilty in the Melbourne County Court and on Wednesday was sentence to five years in prison with a non-parole period of three years.
The man will be deported from Australia following his release.
The second organiser has also pleaded guilty and will be sentenced in April.