Man denies duty frauds

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Police checking a van parked in a restricted Bury St Edmunds street were suspicious of the tobacco and beer in it.

Van owner William Walker, 74, of Beetons Way, Bury, pleaded not guilty at Ipswich Crown Court to two charges of dealing with goods with fraudulent intent between October 2010 and October 2011 and one of converting criminal property. HM Revenue and Customs said he avoided an estimated £78,378 in excise duty.

Nicola Devas, prosecuting, said Walker was arrested in St Andrews Street South on October 18, 2011 with about 2,000 cigarettes, 40 pouches of tobacco and 120 bottles of beer in the van. In his home and car police found £60,000 cash, 3,400 cigarettes, 130 tobacco pouches and a case of beer.

Walker said the claims were ‘rubbish’ and that he made trips to France in his car to give pensioners a day out. He said cash in his home came from the sale of a guest house more than 10 years ago.

The trial continues.