A French court has hit a UK lorry driver with a fine and a suspended jail sentence for attempting to smuggle contraband alcohol out of the country and into the UK.

The court, in Boulogne-sur-Mer, handed down an eight-month suspended jail term and a EUR279,171 (US$366,125) fine to the driver, after the illegal load was discovered by Calais customs officers late last week. The truck was about to board a ferry for the UK.

The transport manifest indicated that the truck was carrying a shipment of wines when it was, in fact, a 26-pallet load of bootleg whisky and vodka.

The size of the fine corresponded to the value of the goods seized, according to French customs officials. The identity of the vodka and whisky brands has not been disclosed.

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