North Lincolnshire Council has brought prosecutions against seven Scunthorpe shop owners for the sale of illicit tobacco.
Raids took place as part of North Lincolnshire Council’s Operation Indigo, which targets shops alleged to be selling illicit tobacco. Test purchasers were sent into numerous shops in November 2018 and illicit tobacco was purchased from nine shops on separate occasions. This was followed up with raids by Trading Standards officers.
The owners of the shops were interviewed and prosecutions were taken, resulting in fines totalling £9,527.
Details of the prosecutions are:
- Siber Sadek Mohammed, owner of Nasza Biedronka and Smiths Convenience, both on Frodingham Road, Scunthorpe and Broadway Local on Bottesford Lane, Ashby pleaded guilty to offences for the sale of illicit tobacco to the test purchasers and was fined £455 plus costs of £250 and a £34 victim surcharge.
- Masud Ibrahim, owner of Helen International on Frodingham Road, pleaded guilty to the sale of illicit tobacco to the test purchasers and possession of illicit tobacco. He received a 12 month community order of 120 hours unpaid work, costs of £1090 and an £85 victim surcharge.
- Barham Swara Mahmoud, owner of Delicia on Frodingham Road, pleaded guilty to the sale of illicit tobacco to the test purchasers and received a £266 fine, costs of £740 and a £32 victim surcharge.
- Halmet Hagi Ibrahimzadeh, owner of 2 Today on Frodingham Road, pleaded guilty to the sale of illicit tobacco to the test purchasers and for the possession of illicit tobacco and received a 12 month Community Order of 100 hours unpaid work, costs of £960 and an £85 victim surcharge.
- Gafour Kadir, owner of Ashby Mini Mar on Ashby High Street pleaded guilty to the sale of illicit tobacco to the test purchasers and received a £150 fine, costs of £700 costs and a £30 victim surcharge.
- Taner Cakmak, director of Cottage Beck Stores Ltd on Cemetery Road, Scunthorpe, was fined £500, costs of £450 and a £50 victim surcharge. The company pleaded guilty to the sale of illicit tobacco to the test purchasers and possession of illicit tobacco and were fined £2500, costs of £450 and a £170 victim surcharge.
Another owner, Ali Abdullahi, of Link Stores, Frodingham Road accepted a caution for the sale of illicit tobacco to the test purchasers.
Two more businesses are due in court in June 2020, and an investigation is ongoing regarding another business.
Cllr John Davison, cabinet member for safer communities, said:
“Our Trading Standards team have a zero tolerance policy to the possession and selling of illicit tobacco.
“The prosecutions taken under Operation Indigo should act as a warning to business owners who choose to deal in illegal products that they will get caught and be prosecuted. These products may contain harmful substances.
“If you have any concerns about people or businesses selling illicit goods don’t hesitate to contact our Trading Standards team on 01724 297664. Information from the public can help with our ongoing investigations to catch these criminals and help to ensure that illegal products are taken off our streets.
“We would urge people to only buy products from reputable suppliers, please don’t take the risk of buying counterfeit goods.”
To report any concerns, contact Trading Standards on 01724 297664 or email email@example.com.