Northampton cigarette gang charged with multi-million pound operation appear in court

The five men are accused of operating a sophisticated operation to move, sell and smuggle cigarettes illegally

Thursday, 25th March 2021, 6:00 am
Five men have been charged with allegedly operating a sophisticated criminal operation centred on illegal cigarettes.

Five men charged with allegedly running a multi-million pound organised crime group centred on illegal cigarettes have appeared in court.

The alleged gang were arrested in February after police reportedly stopped a vehicle in Northampton and discovered £350,000 in cash stashed under the carpet of the passenger side seat.

Shortly afterwards, police arrested:

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■ Piotr Baranowski, 41, of Lincoln Road, Peterborough; charged with possessing criminal property, namely £350,000 in cash.

■ Adrian Gherghel, 40, of Hood Street, Northampton; charged with possession of criminal property, namely £70,000 in cash, and fraudulently avoiding duty charges on 6.1million cigarettes worth £2.1m.

■ Khursheed Kadir, 45, of Ludgate Close, Tividale; charged with possessing criminal property, namely £70,000 in cash.

■ Xoshawl Kalend, 42, of Southampton Road, Northampton; charged with possessing criminal property, namely £70,000 in cash.

■ Alin Latco, 45, of HMP Peterborough; charged with possessing criminal property, namely £70,000 in cash, as well as became concerned in an arrangement that facilitated the handling of criminal property, namely £350,000 in cash by or on behalf of Piotr Baranowski.

At Northampton Crown Court yesterday (March 24), the five men were not directed they did not yet have to enter their guilty or not guilty pleas.

However, a trial date has been set for March 21, 2022.