Unregistered barrister disbarred over smuggling tobacco

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A barrister has been ordered to be disbarred in the UK for attempting to smuggle tobacco into the UK in 2013.
 
The order to disbar Mohammed Shafee Shaikh was made by an independent disciplinary tribunal following charges brought by the Bar regulator.
 
The decision comes after Shaikh, an unregistered barrister, was convicted in April last year by the Ipswich Crown Court for fraudulently evading duty on imports, contrary to the Customs and Excise Management Act 1979.
 
Shaikh, who was called to the bar in 2013 but never practised, was arrested in 2013 after molasses tobacco he tried to smuggle from Egypt were seized at the port of Felixstowe, Suffolk.
 
“Dishonesty is incompatible with membership of the Bar. The Tribunal's decision to disbar Mr Shaikh reflects this,” said Sara Jagger, Bar Standards Board director of professional conduct.
 
Shaikh earlier pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 15 months in prison, suspended for two years. He was also ordered to render 150 hours of community work.
 
Shaikh can appeal the disbarment order.
 

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