A Nottingham man received a suspended prison sentence after pleading guilty to the sale of fake cigarettes.
Farman Fariq Abdulrahman, aged 28, of St Michael’s Avenue, Broxtowe, appeared at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court on January 16 where he admitted possessing, and offering for sale, counterfeit cigarettes and tobacco products.
The offences took place at Krasnal Mini Market, in Radford Road, Hyson Green, and the prosecution followed an inspection by Nottingham City Trading Standards on 9 August 2017.
A total of 919 packets of illegal cigarettes and 92 pouches of illegal hand-rolling tobacco were found in a concealed unit in the rear of the shop that was operated by remote control.
Farman was sentenced to six weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months, together with costs of £550 and a victim surcharge of £115. There was also an order for the forfeiture and destruction of all products.
Councillor Toby Neal, Portfolio Holder for Community Protection at Nottingham City Council, said: “I welcome this prosecution and thank the Trading Standards team for their continued hard work in combating this kind of illegal activity.
“There are serious health risks involved in buying fake cigarettes and tobacco. These products will not have been safety-tested, crucially in the way they burn once lit, and buyers have no idea what has been mixed in. Please don’t be tempted to buy them just because they’re cheap.
“This court sentence hopefully sends out another clear message to anyone thinking of possessing and selling counterfeit tobacco in Nottingham that our officers will always seek to stop you. Traders should be in doubt that they will likely end up before the courts if they ignore this warning.”
Serious and organised crime groups are involved in the trade of counterfeit and illicit tobacco costing the Government millions of pounds in lost revenue each year.
Jane Bailey, Trading Standards Manager at Nottingham City Council, said: “A major concern is that because the trade of counterfeit and illicit tobacco is unregulated, there is no control over what is put in with the tobacco.
“This latest prosecution 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.”