Nottinghamshire traders prosecuted after £20,000 fake cigarettes seized

Nottinghamshire County Council Trading Standards has successfully prosecuted two illegal traders following the seizure of counterfeit and illicit cigarettes and rolling tobacco, with an equivalent retail value of around £20,000.

The first case, heard at Mansfield Magistrates’ Court on March 4, 2022, followed a thorough investigation by Trading Standards.

At the hearing, Serwan Ali of 7a Bridge Street, Wigan pleaded guilty to possessing and supplying counterfeit and illicit tobacco products to Friends Mini Market, Low Street, Sutton in Ashfield in October 2021.

Serwan was sentenced to six weeks in jail, suspended for 18 months and ordered to pay £600 prosecution costs.

On March 25, 2022, at Mansfield Magistrates’ Court, Kargar Mushini of 47 Whitacre Close Huddersfield pleaded guilty to four offenses relating to counterfeiting and illicit tobacco found at Delisha of 3 Toothill Lane, Mansfield.

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Mushini was sentenced to a 12-month community order with 120 hours of unpaid work. He was also ordered to pay costs of £200 and a victim fine surcharge of £95.

Unfortunately, it is much easier for children to buy illicit cigarettes and become addicted, as they often sell for pocket money prices. Packets of illegal cigarettes cost on average just £4.50 and illegal cigarettes are often sold individually, making them more appealing to children.

The sale of counterfeit tobacco also deprives the country of taxes to fund vital public services like the NHS and undermines public health campaigns aimed at helping people quit smoking to protect their health.

Councilor Tom Smith, deputy chairman of Nottinghamshire County Council’s Communities Committee, said: ‘These products are very dangerous for consumers. They often don’t self-extinguish, making them a huge fire hazard. We have also seen how the illicit tobacco trade attracts other crimes and anti-social behavior to an area, further damaging our communities.

“We want to send a message to other unscrupulous merchants that we will not tolerate the sale of counterfeit products in the county. Taking action to stop these criminals and make our communities safer is our priority. We encourage anyone with information about the sale of illegal tobacco to report their concerns anonymously to Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111.”

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