An Evesham shopkeeper has pleaded guilty to selling illegal cigarettes and tobacco.
This follows multiple raids by Worcestershire County Council’s Trading Standards Officers, assisted by Officers from West Mercia Police.
Jamal Saeed, 51, of Alder Grove, Evesham, admitted possessing and allowing the sale of counterfeit and illegal cigarettes and tobacco from the Super Mini Market store in Port Street, Evesham when he appeared at Worcester Magistrates Court on 14 July 2023.
During multiple raids between 8 December 2021 and 14 June 2023 a team including a specialist tobacco sniffer dog, found significant quantities of counterfeit, non-duty paid and illegal cigarettes and tobacco that did not carry the legally required safety warnings.
The Court heard that during the visits cigarettes and hand rolling tobacco were seized, that had the products been genuine would have had a retail value of £23,085.
Mr Saeed was given an eight-week custodial sentence, suspended for twelve months, and was ordered to pay costs and a victim surcharge totalling £7,658.
Councillor Marcus Hart, Cabinet Member for Communities at Worcestershire County Council said: “The sale of illegal tobacco products causes significant problems within our communities; the low prices charged for these illegal products only serves to encourage youngsters into smoking and deprives the exchequer of funds while also damaging local businesses that sell cigarettes responsibly and legitimately. Taxation on tobacco products is aimed at encouraging smokers to quit, but illegal products being available for less than half the price of legitimate products undermines this and the health of the public in those communities.”
He added: “Our Trading Standards Officers will continue to act against anyone found to be involved in the illegal tobacco supply chain. This is another great result for our Trading Standards team, working in partnership with our colleagues at West Mercia Police.”
To report a business selling counterfeit or unsafe goods contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 0808 223 1133.