A MAN from Bognor Regis is among the 16 people charged with plotting to steal millions of pounds worth of cigarettes from their company at Gatwick Airport, police have said.
Peter Simmonds, 50, of Montgomery Drive, Bognor, is one of the 15 men and one woman who have been charged jointly with stealing duty free cigarettes worth a total of £2,432,665 from Gate Gourmet, a business that supplies airlines at the airport.
The other 15 people charged by police are:
Christopher Allen, 53, of Lansdowne Way, Angmering;
William Ayling, 61, of Mayo Road, Brighton;
Mindagas Baranauskas, 35, of no fixed address;
Richard Beaumont, 59, of Edinburgh Close, Southwater;
Pietro Bernone, 28, of Oakapple Close, Crawley;
Durell Corbin, 48, of Home Close, Brixham, Devon;
Keith Gosling, 57, of Ashurst Way, East Preston;
Viktorija Gudonyte, 32, of Lavington Close, Crawley;
Alan Hunt, 57, of Titmus Drive, Crawley;
Cezary Kosobudzki, 50, of Cabourne Road, Grimsby;
George Messenger, 56, of Hobbs Industrial Estate, Lingfield, Surrey;
Gerald Monaghan, 51, of Woodfield Road, Crawley;
Stewart Morris, 53, of Southwark Close, Crawley;
Karamjeet Singh, 53, of Richmond Road, Gillingham;
William Webber, 49, of Salisbury Road, Crawley;
They have been charged with conspiracy to steal from their employer and money laundering and have all been released on bail to appear at Crawley Magistrates’ Court on May 6.
The charges follow a long running investigation by Sussex Police into the large-scale theft of duty free items at Gatwick.
The operation was run with the support of Gate Gourmet, which alerted Sussex Police to the issue after discovering irregularities with its stock. Suspects were arrested in a series of raids in July 2013.
A further two people - a 39-year-old man from Crawley and a 32-year-old man from Crawley - are still on bail as part of the investigation.