A FORMER football club boss was jailed for five and a half years today after Southampton customs officers made their largest seizure of imported cigarettes in the port.
The confiscation of more than 21m counterfeit Regal brand cigarettes is also believed to be one of the largest in the country.
Guy Simpson, 53, one time chief executive of Southern League Premier side Halesowen admitted smuggling.
The contraband was packed into two 40ft long containers that arrived on the Maersk Algol that had originally sailed from China and arrived in Southampton in December.
Though the manifest maintained they contained gym balls, they were found “full to the brim” with the cigarettes that had probably been illicitly manufactured in China, said prosecutor Tim Moores.
Judge Peter Ralls QC told Simpson from Heath Charnock, Lancashire he had played a pivotal role in the plot, which he had operated through his legitimate business front.