A butcher in Sudbury Hill, northwest London, has been ordered to pay £4,020 for selling illicit cigarettes following an investigation by Brent and Harrow Trading Standards.
When Officers visited Sudbury Halal Meat Ltd in October 2022 after receiving intelligence that illegal tobacco was being sold on the premises, they discovered thousands of packets of cigarettes behind the counter, in a storeroom and in a cloakroom.
With the assistance of a specialist tobacco detection dog, a total of 1,187 of cigarette packs with incorrect packaging and health warnings were seized.
The shop’s owner Hamawand Ragab and the business jointly pleaded guilty to two charges. At Willesden Magistrates Court on 6 July, Ragab and the company were fined £900 each, with a victim surcharge of £360 and costs of £750 – totalling £4,020.
Ragab gave no explanation as to why the cigarettes were being sold in a butcher’s shop.
Councillor Anjana Patel, Harrow Council cabinet member for Environment and Community Safety, said: “If you break the law, you pay the price. Selling illicit cigarettes isn’t just a crime but potentially harmful for its victims. This business and its owner showed no duty of care for customers and were only interested in making money. Thanks to the work of our Trading Standards officers these products have been taken away and fines issued.
“We will continue to take tough action against anyone trading illegally and putting people’s health and wellbeing at risk. We want to ensure that businesses trading fairly have a level playing field, and action will be taken against those that don’t. I encourage everyone to report any business trading illegally to Trading Standards.”