Beeston shop owner fined for selling illegal cigarettes kept hidden behind wall
A shop owner in Beeston has been fined for selling illegal cigarettes which he hid behind a wall.
Mr Aras Abdulkadir Ali, was found selling the cigarettes and hand rolling tobacco at his business Dobre Bo Polskie in Dewsbury Road.
West Yorkshire Trading Standards Service (WYTS) visited the business twice and seized illegal tobacco products on each occasion.
The products were counterfeit, did not bear the statutory health warnings, were not in the standardised packaging and were non duty paid.
Multiple test purchases were also made from the business.
Illegal tobacco was found hidden in a wall behind the counter, in the cellar and a room upstairs.
In total 28,780 cigarettes and 5.25kg of hand rolling tobacco was seized.
Warnings to stop their illegal activity were ignored by the business, WYTS said.
Mr Ali appeared at Kirklees Magistrates Court on Friday, June 11.
Mr Ali pleaded guilty to selling illegal tobacco.
He was sentenced to a community order with 60 hours unpaid work.
He was also ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £85 and told to make a contribution towards legal costs of £350.
The Tackling Illicit Tobacco for Better Health Programme, funded by the five Public Health departments, is helping people to stop tobacco use for good by educating the public and by investigating traders who supply cheap and illicit tobacco.
To date the programme has taken nearly 8 million illicit cigarettes and two and half tonnes of illicit hand rolling tobacco off the streets of West Yorkshire.
Linda Davis, West Yorkshire Trading Standards Manager said, “Far from being a victimless crime Illegal Tobacco trading creates a cheap source for children and young people and encourages adults to continue smoking by eroding cost motivation to quit.
"Members of the public should recognise the adverse health, economic and social impacts of the illicit trade of tobacco products, including the linkages with human trafficking and other organised crimes.
"I would like to thank all the partners and members of the public for reporting illegal sales and encourage everyone to continue doing so to reduce the harm caused by tobacco in our communities.”
If you need to report a trader selling cheap and illicit tobacco, you can contact the Illegal Tobacco Hotline on 0300 999 0000.