Shopkeeper sentenced for illegal tobacco offences

A Dudley shopkeeper has been fined for possessing illegal tobacco following an inspection by trading standards officers.

Khosnaw Fayiqi, 27, the proprietor of Alena Mini Market in Dudley High Street pleaded guilty to five offences at Wolverhampton Magistrates Court on 30th November 2017.

The court heard that in October 2016, trading standards officers, accompanied by a tobacco detection dog, inspected the shop and discovered 63 packets of cigarettes and tobacco which did not have the necessary health warnings and had evaded excise duty, including four brands which were also found to be counterfeit.  The haul was found hidden in a compartment built into a chair and in a jacket. The duty evaded was estimated to be over £400.

Fayiqi pleaded guilty to one offence under the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations relating to the lack of health warnings, 4 offences under the Trade Marks Act relating to counterfeit products and one offence under the Proceeds of Crime Act in respect of possessing criminal property which had evaded duty.

He was fined £500 and ordered to pay £500 costs and a victim surcharge of £30.  All the illegal products seized were ordered to be forfeited for destruction. Councillor Peter Miller, cabinet member responsible for health and wellbeing, said:

“Selling illegal tobacco is a crime and offenders need to know that they will face consequences if they choose to deal in illegal products.

“While all smoking is harmful, illegal tobacco is sold at low prices and without the necessary health warnings which makes it easier for children and young smokers to get hooked on smoking.

“Cheap cigarettes also make it harder for people to quit and remain smoke free. It also deprives legitimate businesses of revenue and robs the tax payer of money that could be spent on schools and hospitals”.

Residents can keep illegal tobacco out of their area by informing Trading Standards on 01384 818871 or by telephoning Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.


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