19th March 2024

Islington TS fines shopkeeper

A shop in north London sold illegal cigarettes and vapes, and was caught selling a vape to a 14-year-old.

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

A shop in north London that persistently stocked illegal cigarettes and sold a vape to a child has been ordered to pay more than £32,000 following an investigation by Islington Trading Standards.

When Officers visited Naz Organic Ltd on Holloway Road in March 2023, they seized 4,272 packs of illicit cigarettes and 578 non-compliant vapes. They were assisted in the raid by a specially trained tobacco detection dog.

Tobacco detection dog Cooper assists Officers with their enquiries (image credit: Islington Council)

The products, which had an estimated value of £70,000, were found in a concealed cabinet to avoid detection. Many of the seized vapes exceeded the 2ml legal tank size for e-liquid and the cigarette packs did not meet statutory labelling and information requirements.

A further inspection in August 2023 revealed 321 more illegal vapes, and in the following November a 14-year-old volunteer was illegally sold a vape during a test purchase operation by Islington Council.

Naz Organic Ltd and its director, Ako Faraidon Khadir, pleaded guilty to two offences under the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016 concerning the sale of illegally packaged tobacco products, a further two offences under the same Regulations concerning the illegal vapes, and one relating to a quantity of illegally labelled shisha. The company also pleaded guilty to the offence of selling a nicotine inhaling product to a minor, contrary to the Children and Families Act 2014.

On 13 March 2024, Naz Organic Ltd was fined a total of £17,000 with a £2,000 victim surcharge. Khadir was fined a total of £6,000 with a £2,000 victim surcharge. The company and its director were also ordered to pay a combined total of £5,578 in costs to Islington Council. Altogether, they were fined £32,578.

Besserat Atsebaha, Director of Community Safety, Security and Resilience at Islington Council, said: “Selling vapes to children is illegal, irresponsible and dangerous. The illegal tobacco market makes it easier for children to start smoking and harder for smokers to quit and remain smoke free.

“This prosecution sends a clear signal that we won’t tolerate traders who sell illegal and harmful products. Most traders in Islington operate well within the law, but we will take robust action against those who don’t.”

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