0 min left

Flight Attendant Sentenced for Leading Tobacco-Smuggling Ring


A British court handed down a prison sentence to a flight attendant who confessed to leading a smuggling ring.

A former easyJet flight attendant will be grounded for nearly two years. According to the Daily Mail, 43-year-old Dennis Connolly will spend the next 21 months in jail, after pleading guilty to charges of conspiracy to evade duty and possessing criminal property. Connolly stood accused of smuggling duty-free cigarettes worth over $290,000.

According to reports, Connolly began smuggling in 2007, shortly after his boyfriend died of pancreatic cancer. Sick with grief, Connolly developed a gambling problem and racked up a large amount of debt. In order to recover, a friend suggested Connolly use his position as a flight attendant to travel to foreign destinations and purchase duty-free cigarettes for resale.

Connolly recruited friends and co-workers to help with his scheme, using his day job with easyJet and discounted trips to purchase cigarettes to sell on the black market. The Liverpool Echo reports Connolly organized over 130 smuggling runs.

The prosecutors created a case after three of Connolly’s co-conspirators were caught by customs officers at Liverpool John Lennon Airport (LPL) with large amounts of tobacco in their possession. The co-conspirators were all travelling on discount flight bookings made by Connolly, which linked investors back to him.

“Airline employees hold a position of trust and abusing such privileges in order to smuggle is a serious matter,” said Sandra Smith, assistant director of criminal investigation at Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, according to the BBC. “Connolly organized subsidized travel purely for smuggling purposes. There are no excuses for smuggling, whatever your status.”

[Photo: Manchester Evening News]

Comments are Closed.