Smoker insisted 12,000 cigarettes 'for own use'
A HEAVY smoker caught with 12,000 cigarettes at an Irish airport insisted they were for his own use.
Egyptian national Monstair Sidding said he thought he was entitled to bring a year's supply of cigarettes into Ireland once they were for personal use.
Sidding, of 53 South Richmond Street, Cork, was stopped at Cork Airport on May 19, 2010, by Customs and Excise officers.
Sidding had flown from Cairo via Amsterdam to Cork and had 12,000 cigarettes in his suitcase. None of the cigarettes -- bought for about €300 in Egypt and of the L&M brand -- had tax stamps on the packets.
Sidding pleaded guilty to a single count of attempted evasion of relevant excise duty.
Cork District Court was told he had not attempted to conceal the cigarettes. Judge Leo Malone imposed a €2,500 fine.
Sidding was told that, in default of payment, a 90-day jail term would be considered.