Friday, September 02, 2005

Another Guam connection

While I know for a fact that there is at least one old tobacco farmer on Guam, I didn't know that the Tobacco Road passes through there. But I learn today that a Sydney man has avoided a sentence of breaking hard rocks, butt he has been fined big time and his import business snuffed out:

"Palm Beach identity Mark Coulton has been fined more than $2 million over a series of tobacco-smuggling schemes. The NSW Supreme Court heard the former Hard Rock Cafe owner's methods to avoid paying duty on the tobacco were "sophisticated, premeditated, highly planned and involved a high level of dishonesty and deceit". Using false names, fictitious companies and fake documents, in 1999 Coulton smuggled three large shipments of Drum tobacco into the country. The first shipment, of almost 7000 pouches of tobacco, was bought by Coulton in the Netherlands and then shipped to Guam where it was repacked into boxes to look like coconut soap... Three months later he organised a second shipment, again bought in the Netherlands and shipped to Guam. The tobacco was then sent to the United States where the 9600 pouches were concealed in oil drums...."



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