Confiscated tobacco thieves ordered to pay back £185k proceeds of crime

Caught in the act on CCTV

A gang of tobacco thieves have been ordered to pay back more than £185,000 of illegally-earned cash following a Proceeds of Crime Act hearing.

Mark Short, Adrian Love, Grzegorz Sikora, Neil Bradley and Adrian Baker were sentenced in April 2019 after they were caught selling confiscated tobacco from a high-security incinerator plant in Sandwich.

Mark Short

They all worked at the site and took advantage of the access they had to cigarettes and tobacco seized by Border Force. Instead of destroying it as instructed, they worked together to hide and sell the goods for their own financial gain.

Adrian Love

The group’s offending took place between 2016 and 2017 and was uncovered by a site manager who noticed something suspicious and caught them on CCTV. All were sentenced to between three and four years in prison, aside from Baker who received an eight-month sentence, suspended for 18 months.

Grzegorz Sikora

Alongside their convictions, a financial review of their assets and criminal lifestyle was carried out by financial investigators at Kent Police.

Confiscation hearings were held at Canterbury Crown Court in respect of all defendants between October 2020 and May 2021. As a result of these hearings: 

Neil Bradley
  • Short, 58, previously of Singledge Lane, Whitfield, has been ordered ordered to pay back £136,000.
  • Love, 49, previously of Grenville way, Broadstairs, has been ordered to pay back £33,971.
  • Sikora, 40, previously of Northdown Road, Cliftonville, has paid back £12,282.
  • Bradley, 49, previously of St Augustine’s Road, Ramsgate, has paid back £2,950.
  • Baker, 51, previously of Bush Avenue, Ramsgate, has paid back a nominal amount of £1.

 Failure to pay the funds could result in them being returned to prison.

Detective Inspector Annie Clayton said: “Kent Police does not stop at the point of conviction and we will continue to use the full extent of the law against those who are intent on committing crime.

“The Proceeds of Crime Act is a legislation we can use to claim back money that offenders have gained through criminal activity. 


  1. They saw an Opportunity to get involved in crime but the never saw the CCTV that was recording their crimes. Mugs.

  2. it seems strange to me – they come down on these “crimes ” like a ton of bricks – child molesters – perverts – muggers – violent attacks – they just walk ? and as for that money could have built schools – hospitals – blah blah blah – SHOW ME ONE ?

  3. Yet the Tobaaco bosses who kill & blight the lives millions of people with this poison are billionaires & living in mansions.

  4. I can understand why they attempted to Rob this facility. I havnt had a fag for 21 years. A good friend helped me a wouldn’t take anything.. So I thought I’d buy him a pouch of tabacco christ £26.15 to say I was shocked. I can see why they were tempted

    • The most amazing feat of marketing in history-collect thousands of poisonous substances people would never touch if you offered them to them for free, roll them up, put them in a box or packet & get them to pay a premium price for something that will cause decades of ill health & premature deaths for most of its users & that nobody actually needs to use.

  5. Local employer takes on local ish staff and they steal from their employer.

    They win the race to the bottom ! welcome to thanet.

    Could be why some of our local shops & bars struggle to make a profit, staff pilfering, staff showing blind eye for their mates not paying or dealing weed&bacco , staff with no interest in growing the business they work in.

    Seen it all even without looking….

    Our new airport will not employ trash, the airport is another step forward…

  6. Some people amaze me… Comparing these criminals and their sentences to child molesters and other more serious criminals, how do your minds work? I agree with the point that those more serious crimes should be more severely punished, I do not dispute that in any way, shape or form. But, these criminals also deserve heavy custodial sentences. They committed serious crimes and, agree with it or not, their crime deprived the public purse of tax revenue.

    Now, ignoring the fact that most people who’ve followed this government’s actions for the last decade would agree that they spend our hard-earned money on all manner of rubbish and squander our taxes for the benefit of the few, taxes are there to pay for public services. Everybody, myself included, complains that public services are going down the drain, the streets are dirty, the place is run down, roads are damaged etc. TAX PAYS FOR THAT STUFF. When someone evades tax or sells contraband goods, they deprive the public purse. That means there is less money in the system to pay for public services. Who do you think they then come to for more tax when it is needed? BINGO! Those who already abide by the law, play by the rules and pay their taxes.

    So, if you’re stupid enough to condone these crimes or in any way trivialise them, more fool you.

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