A HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) investigation found the parcels, which came from Germany, were often disguised as glass products and addressed to phoney businesses.
Cieply was arrested at a property on Longroyd Avenue, Leeds, after a damaged parcel was found to contain 76 kilos of hand-rolling tobaccoin December 2015. Duty had not been paid on theAmber Leaf branded products, which were seized by UK Borer Force.
HMRC officers searched the property and found £70,810 cash in a duvet cover and packaging identical to that seized by UK Border Force.
A total of 1,041 tobacco parcels, worth an estimated £3,184,003 in duty and VAT, were addressed to the properties:
· 260 parcels sent to Longroyd Avenue, Leeds
· 123 parcels sent to Temple Street, Bradford
· 658 parcels sent to Halsbury Road, Liverpool
Investigations also found he was linked to parcels sent to addresses in Sheerness, Paisley and another property in Leeds.
The duty evaded on all the parcels is estimated at £3,505,707.
Sandra Smith, Assistant Director, Fraud Investigation Service, HMRC, said:
“Cieply played a significant role in this large-scale smuggling operation which brought tonnes of illicit tobacco into the UK. He thought his criminal scheme would go unnoticed, but he was wrong and now he is paying the price.
“Trade in illicit tobacco takes trade away from legitimate businesses. I encourage anyone with information on this type of fraud to contact our Fraud Hotline on 0800 788 887.”
Cieply used fake documents and various aliases, including Emmanual Hync and Marek Witkowski, to rent the three properties.
He admitted excise fraud at Leeds Crown Court on 9 August 2017 and was sentenced to 38 months in prison at the same court on 2 October 2017.
Four other suspects are currently being pursued by HMRC.