A LORRY driver who was accused of trying to evade £9 million of UK duty payments after being stopped in Harwich has been cleared.

Maciej Wegrzynowski, of Bydgoszcz, Poland, was said to have concealed 495,490 boxes of Richmond blue non-UK duty paid cigarettes in his trailer when he entered the UK in June 2020.

During last month’s trial, prosecuting barrister Matthew Sorel-Cameron combed through pages of customs documents to confirm various details pertaining to what Wegrzynowski had been transporting in his lorry, and when.

The court heard how Wegrzynowski’s trailer was referred for further examination after an anomaly was spotted when he entered the country via Harwich.

Inside, officers found a Motorola android phone, a Swisstone phone, travel documents, a debit card, and a diary.

The 495,490 boxes of cigarettes were calculated to have an overall value of £9,909,800.

Wegrzynowsk appeared in court in August when he denied attempting to fraudulently evade provision of the Customs and Excise Acts 1979.

Benjamin Laker, a case officer who was part of the team investigating the case for HMRC, also appeared in the witness box as part of the trial.

But after the jury at Chelmsford Crown Court was discharged last month, they cleared Wegrzynowski, 58, of any wrongdoing.