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Illicit tobacco

Shop workers handed fines for counterfeit tobacco sales

Two shop workers have been ordered to pay over £500 each in fines and costs for selling counterfeit cigarettes with no health warnings at a premise in Rugeley.

The shop owner pleaded guilty to five charges of selling counterfeit tobacco under the Trade Marks Act and five under tobacco regulations for selling products without health warnings. Horas Abdul Rahman will be sentenced in January.

All three pleaded guilty at North Staffordshire Justice Centre on Monday December 17 to the offences, which took place at Yum Yum in Brewery Street. A total of 12,280 illegal cigarettes and 7.75g of hand rolling tobacco was seized by Staffordshire County Council trading standards officers.

Osman Ameen, 39, of Tower Street, Derby, was ordered to pay £510 in fines, costs and a victim surcharge with fellow worker Faruk Fatah, 36, or Bennett Street, Derby, being ordered to pay £515. Fatah was found selling counterfeit cigarettes and hand rolling tobacco on December 4 2017 and Ameen on January 29 this year.

Rahman, 34, of Osmanton Road, Derby, is due to be sentenced on January 10 next year for selling counterfeit tobacco on various dates in December 2017 and January this year. None of the defendants has any involvement with the shop now.

Staffordshire County Council’s communities leader Gill Heath said:

Illicit tobacco and can be particularly harmful to people’s health as it does not comply with safety and consumer regulations.

It also evades tax which ultimately affects public services and their sale can fund criminal gangs. We are pleased therefore that our trading standards team has bought another successful prosecution which has removed illicit produce from sale and helped to protect legitimate businesses.”

Anyone with information about the sale of illicit goods can call Staffordshire’s confidential trading standards line on 01785 330356.