26th February 2024

Shopkeeper fined for illegal tobacco

A shop owner in Kidsgrove has been prosecuted by Staffordshire County Council Trading Standards.

By JTS Staff
Journal of Trading Standards' in-house team

A shop owner who sold counterfeit tobacco has been fined and given a community order following an investigation by Staffordshire County Council Trading Standards.

Dilman Ramazan (23) came to the attention of Trading Standards following numerous reports from the public about his shop, Ari’s Mini Mart in Kidsgrove, selling illegal goods.

A Staffordshire TS Officer with some of the counterfeit tobacco seized (image credit: Staffordshire Trading Standards)

During searches of the premises between 15 March and 15 August 2022, Officers found a total of 5,380 illicit cigarettes, 10.6kg of illicit hand rolling tobacco and 265 illegal vapes. The seizure has an estimated street value of £7,179.

Ramazan pleaded guilty to selling and supplying counterfeit tobacco, and at North Staffordshire Justice Centre on 15 February he was given a 12-month community order and 40 hours of unpaid work, and ordered to pay costs totalling £2,500.

Victoria Wilson, Cabinet Member responsible for Trading Standards at Staffordshire County Council said: “Our Trading Standards service takes the sale of illicit tobacco and counterfeit goods very seriously and take action on those breaking the law.

“This is yet another successful prosecution that should send out a clear warning to others selling such products.  The sale of illicit tobacco not only damages local communities but harms legitimate businesses, which harms local communities.

“The service does rely on intelligence from members of the public and it’s because of this we managed to reach a satisfactory outcome.

“Counterfeiting and the trade in illicit tobacco is also closely linked to organised crime, so buying such goods is only putting money in criminal’s pockets.  Anyone with information on the sale of illegal goods should contact our Trading Standards team.”

Lord Michael Bichard, Chair, National Trading Standards, said: “The trade in illegal tobacco harms local communities and affects honest businesses operating within the law. Having removed 21 million illegal cigarettes, 5,800kg of hand rolling tobacco and almost 175kg of shisha products from sale, the National Trading Standards initiative in partnership with HMRC continues to successfully disrupt this illicit trade.”

Ramazan had previously received a caution in January 2022 following an earlier seizure of illicit tobacco and cigarettes and a number of counterfeit Apple devices and accessories in June 2021.

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