A WHOLESALER found to have illegally imported lorry loads of untaxed alcohol into the UK has been given a nine-year trading ban.

Investigators estimate the dodgy consignments of booze, brought in by Banini UK Ltd, generated outstanding VAT and excise bills totalling more than £284,000.

Company director Lukasz Hall, 41, of Summerfield Drive, Prestwich, has now been disqualified as a company director over the saga.

Hall's business, which was a wholesaler of fruit and veg, as well as beer, wines and spirits, operated out of premises on Oldham Trading Estate and Cromford Business Park, also in Oldham.

An inquiry by the Insolvency Service found when consignments of alcohol were brought into this country in late April 2018, HM Revenue and Customs were not notified. The alcohol was seized by the authorites on two separate days.

Officials say Hall and Banini were aware of their obligations as they had registered three other loads in April, June and August 2017.

An estimated £213,440 was left owing in excise duty and £71.423 in VAT as a result when the firm went under last November.

Hall and the firm did not reveal that four further loads, again without duty or VAT being paid, had been brought into their premises, around the same time.

Administration records show Banini owed £379,947 to creditors, including HMRC, when the firm was wound up.

The bulk of the debts were to the taxman but loans totalling £75,000 had also been given out to associates and Oldham Council had not been paid £2,584 in business rates.