Citrone on the hook for six figures

Carlo Citrone

Not only will Carlo Citrone fail to collect his confiscated bankroll from the British government, the high-stakes gambler has been ordered to pay £370,000 to Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs to cover his profits from an alleged cigarette smuggling ring.

U.K. courts didn't grant the 41-year-old U.K. pro poker player the £170,000 for which Citrone has been waging a three-year legal battle, reports the Newcastle Evening Chronicle.

The money was seized just prior to Citrone's and friend Pradeep Bahanda's arrest in 2004 for smuggling fake cigarettes into Britain.

Bahanda tried to fly from the Newcastle Airport to Belguim toting nearly £170,000 in cash. Citrone later came forward to claim the money, saying his friend was carrying his bankroll for a Paris poker tournament because the pro had too high a profile.

Judges in Gosforth, Newcastle have dismissed these claims, however, and ruled that the money was likely set up to facilitate a new cigarette importing con.

"We're committed to using the full powers of the Act to remove cash and assets from the criminal food chain, and this case demonstrates the success of the Act," a spokeswoman for HM Revenue and Customs told the Evening Chronicle.

"Criminals have to explain where cash in their possession has legitimately come from or face the consequences."

Related Article: Carlo Citrone in Court Battle for Seized Money

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