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The Role of The Crown Prosecution Service

The Crown Prosecution Service is the government department responsible for prosecuting criminal cases investigated by the police in England and Wales.

As the principal prosecuting authority in England and Wales, we are responsible for:

  • advising the police on cases for possible prosecution
  • reviewing cases submitted by the police
  • determining any charges in more serious or complex cases
  • preparing cases for court
  • presenting cases at court

Find out more about the role of the Crown Prosecution Service

Tobacco smuggler jailed for 2 years after attempting to evade nearly £1m in excise duty


Ramji Kanth has today (20th June) been sentenced to 2 years imprisonment for an attempt to fraudulently evade nearly £1m worth of excise duty on cigarettes that he was found to be bringing into the country.

Reading Crown Court heard that Mr Kanth attempted to import 4.4 million cigarettes into the UK from Singapore, disguised as computer parts. Mr Kanth used his position as the director of a legitimate business to arrange the importation and storage of the illegal cigarettes. He then went on to use a variety of pseudonyms to distance himself from the illegal activity.

He was found guilty on 14 May 2014 of fraudulent evasion of duty, contrary to section 170(2) of the Customs and Excise Management Act 1979.

Deputy Head of Fraud at the Crown Prosecution Service, Andrew Penhale, said: "Mr Kanth used a variety of elaborate devices in a deliberate effort to defraud the public purse of nearly £1m of duty on millions of imported cigarettes.

"The unlawful importation of cigarettes into the UK costs the public around £2 billion in unpaid duty every year. This crime not only has a serious impact on the public purse but also damages other businesses which are trading legitimately in this area.

"Whenever investigators present us with sufficient evidence of illicit tobacco trading, we will take action. Smuggling is a crime and those who engage in it risk criminal prosecution."


Notes to Editors

  1. For media enquiries call the CPS Press Office on 020 3357 0906; Out of Hours Pager 07699 781 926
  2. The CPS consists of 13 Areas in total, each headed by a Chief Crown Prosecutor (CCP). In addition, there are four national casework divisions: Central Fraud, Welfare Rural & Health, Special Crime & Counter Terrorism and Organised Crime. A 'virtual' 14th Area is CPS Direct which provides charging decisions to all police forces and other investigators across England and Wales - it operates twenty-four hours, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
  3. At 31 March 2013 we employed a workforce of approximately 6840 staff (full time equivalent), including around 2350 prosecutors and 4110 caseworkers and administrators. Further information can be found on our website:
  4. The CPS, together with ACPO and media representatives, has developed a Protocol for the release of prosecution material to the media. This sets out the type of prosecution material that will normally be released, or considered for release, together with the factors we will take into account when considering requests. Read the Protocol for the release of prosecution material to the media.