Two Nottingham shopkeepers have admitted having £80,505 worth of counterfeit and illicit tobacco for sale in their premises.

Adnan Mohamed (29) of Dryden Street, Nottingham, who runs the Biedronka shop on Berridge Road, and Bahman Karimi,(25), of Norton Street, Nottingham, who runs Alma on Radford Road, both pleaded guilty to possessing and offering for sale illicit and counterfeit cigarettes. Karimi also admitted selling counterfeit tobacco to an underage person following a test purchase conducted by Nottingham City Trading Standards.

They were each given a 12 week sentence, suspended for 24 months, 200 hours unpaid work and ordered to pay £711 in costs. Mohamed had £2,200 seized from him and retained under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Nottingham City Council secured the prosecutions. Jane Bailey, Trading Standards Manager for Nottingham City Community Protection, said: “This is an excellent result. Nottingham City Trading Standards takes a proactive approach to combating the sale and distribution of illicit and counterfeit tobacco products throughout the city, working alongside Nottinghamshire Police and acting on local intelligence. We urge anyone who has any information about somebody selling cheap cigarettes and tobacco to report this to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111”

Councillor Nicola Heaton, Nottingham City Council’s Portfolio holder for Community Services, said: “All smoking is dangerous but smoking illegal tobacco could potentially be even more harmful to health because the trade in counterfeit and illicit tobacco is unregulated so there is no control over what is mixed with the tobacco. It also seriously impacts on local businesses that are trading legitimately but lose trade to rogue shopkeepers.”