North Lincolnshire Council has successfully prosecuted a 47-year-old Scunthorpe man for possession of 50,000 illicit cigarettes, 130kg of illicit tobacco and more than 1,000 counterfeit DVDs.
Officers from the council’s Trading Standards department raided the Ashby Road home of Robert Smith on 7 March 2011 in a joint operation with Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC).
During the raid they seized:
- Over 130kg of illicit (non-duty paid) hand rolling tobacco
- Almost 50,000 illicit cigarettes
- More than 1,000 counterfeit DVDs
- A computer and DVD copying equipment.
Smith was charged with possession of the illicit tobacco products and making the counterfeit DVDs.
He pleaded guilty to all offences at Grimsby Crown Court on Monday 2 July and will be sentenced in October 2012.
The seized cigarettes and tobacco have a street value of about £50,000 and the DVDs about £2,500.
Some of the tobacco was a counterfeit brand as well as having no duty paid.
This means anyone who has bought it really doesn’t know what they’re smoking.
Cllr Nigel Sherwood, cabinet member for Highways and Neighbourhoods at North Lincolnshire Council, said:
“This is one of the biggest cases our Trading Standards have dealt with and it’s the first time the council has prosecuted for this type of offence.
“We are one of the first councils in the country to be given special permission to bring this type of case to court.
“The council takes these types of offence very seriously. If you have any concerns about people selling illicit or fake cigarettes and tobacco call 08454 04 05 06.”