Smugglers who used more than 20 delivery accounts to being illegal cigarettes into the UK have been jailed.

Jinsen Li, 49, of Tottenham and Kay Kuen Poon, 59, of Mill Hill were caught trying to import 500,000 cigarettes and 30kg of hand rolling tobacco without paying the £150,000 tax and import duty due.

The pair used more than 20 mailbox delivery outlets throughout London to pick up the packages from China.

They were arrested in June 2016 after HMRC investigators obtained CCTV footage of the twosome picking up parcels, and Li continued to collect packages just days after being released on bail.

Mark Cox, assistant director of HMRC's Fraud Investigation Service, said: "This pair thought their criminal scheme would go unnoticed, but they were wrong and now they are paying the price.

"Criminals selling illicit tobacco threaten the livelihoods of hard working legitimate businesses by stealing their trade.

"I encourage anyone with information on this type of fraud to contact our fraud hotline on 0800 788 887."

Poon admitted to fraudulent evasion of excise duty on November 13 and was jailed for 26 months at Snaresbrook Crown Court on January 5, while Li denied the charge but was found guilt on November 23 and jailed for 33 months.