Susan HowarthSerial cigarette smuggler Susan Howarth is finally behind bars.

Howarth, of Ivy Close, Elswick, Newcastle, was jailed at Newcastle Crown Court after customs officers found her bags packed full with 24,580 fags at the city’s airport when she landed on a flight from Tenerife, on August 22.

Now, Howarth’s illicit career has been stubbed out after she was jailed for 2 years for her latest swindle.

The 52 year old, who used to earn a living caring for others, had a secret life as a serial tobacco trafficker, which has seen her sneak 800,000 cigarettes into the UK.

Senior HMRC officer Dave Gostelow said: “The illicit cigarette market breeds contempt for the law by encouraging otherwise honest people to trade with criminals. It costs the Treasury around £3bn a year in lost revenue, which could be funding vital public services such as hospitals and schools.”