Dudley Shop closed for illegal tobacco and vape sales

Credit: Google

A Dudley shop has been ordered to close after it was found to be selling illegal cigarettes and vapes to the public.

The ‘Famous shop’ on 86 High Street Dudley, was closed for three months after a court hearing at Wolverhampton Magistrates Court last week.

The court heard that the same owners of a previous shop ‘Dudley Mini Market’, which was closed in November 2022 for also selling illegal tobacco and vapes, opened the shop across the road and continued to operate their illegal activity.  

Trading standards carried out seven sting operations at this new shop, leading to the successful seizures of illegal cigarettes and vapes. In an attempt to evade an upcoming closure order, the business had a new owner in July 2023, who attended the court objecting to the closure Order.

Mr Herman Mohammed Mustafa, aged 39, claimed to magistrates that his new business was now legal, and he had never had any previous dealings with illegal tobacco. However, the court heard from Dudley trading standards officers who gave evidence that Mr Mustafa was caught with illegal tobacco in 2014 and was present in another shop in 2017, where illegal tobacco was found.

Trading standards also carried out two further sting operations in August and October 2023, after Mr Mustafa took control of the business where illegal tobacco and vapes were again recovered.

The court also heard that these illegal goods were stored in various places including bags, vehicles and at 84 and 83 High Street, Dudley. The court was informed that on 11 October, Dudley Magistrates Court granted three-month closure Orders for the two premises.

Magistrates agreed it was an attempt to circumvent proceedings and the illegal activity had not stopped. They granted a closure Order for three months. Councillor Ian Bevan, Dudley's cabinet member for public health, said:

"This is an excellent result that shows we will not tolerate illegitimate businesses using underhanded tactics in order to prevent enforcement action.

"Our trading standards team worked very efficiently to close all three premises, and obtaining the necessary evidence when a new owner claimed to have taken over the business and no longer sold these illegal goods.

"This closure order sends a clear message that we will do all we can to keep our communities safe and ensure fair competition for legitimate businesses in our borough."


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