Ipswich man fined after 17k illegal cigarettes seized from shop
- Credit: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire
An Ipswich man has been fined after more than 17,000 illegal cigarettes were seized from his shop.
Essex Trading Standards raided the Street Corner Shop, in Harlow, three times in 2016, 2017 and 2018 — seizing illegal tobacco and cigarettes which contravened the Trade Marks Act 1994 during the most recent visit.
None of the products seized had external standardised packaging, a contravention of The Tobacco and Related Products (Safety) Regulations 2016.
Just two months later, shop owner Saiwan Ali, of Wellington Court, Ipswich, was stopped on a routine patrol by Essex Police with more illegal tobacco being loaded into a vehicle near Amhurst Lodge, Harlow.
The goods were seized and a quantity of them were counterfeit, with all products breaching the requirements for standardised packaging.
In total, 17,340 cigarettes and 4.45kg of hand rolling tobacco were seized by Trading Standards and police during the patrol stop and the 2018 raid.
Saiwan Ali has now been convicted of possession with a view to supply illegal tobacco alongside Wahab Ali, of Amherst Lodge, Harlow, following a hearing at Chelmsford Magistrates' Court.
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Saiwan Ali pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 12-month community order, 150 hours of unpaid work, £1,000 in costs and a £60 victim surcharge.
Wahab Ali was found guilty and fined £414, ordered to pay £1,000 in costs and a £30 victim surcharge.
Councillor Graham Butland, cabinet member for devolution, the arts, heritage and culture at Essex County Council, said: “Today’s sentencing sends a clear message to individuals that continue to break the law.
“Essex Trading Standards has an ongoing commitment to protecting the health of our residents and supporting legitimate businesses who are undermined by the sale of illegal tobacco.
"Counterfeit goods have acknowledged links to organised crime and cause a significant financial detriment to the wider economy."