A Worksop shopkeeper has been slapped with a hefty fine after selling illegal and ‘potentially dangerous’ cigarettes to undercover Trading Standards officers.
Luqman Ahmed, 30, who is the owner of Kubus Mini Market, Gateford Road, pleaded guilty to three charges at a previous hearing at Mansfield Magistrates’ Court on 14th May.
The first was of being in possession to supply 400 cigarettes which posed risk of fire as dangerous products and contravened Regulation 2 of the General Product Safety Regulations 2005; and two separate charges of being in possession to supply packets of cigarettes with no health warnings on the packaging, contravening Regulation 7 of the Tobacco Products Regulations 2002.
His part-time assistant, Sam Ahmed, 32, of Creswell Road, Worksop, admitted a single charge of possessing to supply a packet of cigarettes which posed risk of fire as dangerous products, contravening Regulation 2 of the General Product Safety Regulations 2005.
On 4th December, a Notts County Council Trading Standards officer went to the shop in Gateford Road and bought 20 cigarettes and was handed them from under the shop counter. On 22nd December, officers went back to the shop and bought more illegal tobacco and on further inspection of the shop found 27 packets of illegal tobacco in carrier bags around the till area.
Trading Standards officers then went back to the store on 11th February and bought another packet of the cigarettes which were again handed over from under the counter and a further eight packets were seized.
A probation report was read out in court on Thursday 21st May for Luqman Ahmed.
It said: “Many of his customers are Polish and they are frequently short of money and they pay him in Polish cigarettes, which he then sells on.”
“He is aware that they are illegal products and potentially dangerous.”
“He accepts full responsibility.”
Sam Ahmed was said to have worked in the shop just a couple of days a week and only for a few hours.
Luqman Ahmed was fined £1,000, ordered to pay £260 costs and a £40 victim surcharge.
Sam Ahmed was fined £200, ordered to pay £260 costs and a £20 victim surcharge.
Coun Glynn Gilfoyle, community safety committee chairman, at Notts County Council, said: “Illegal tobacco puts individuals at increased risk of fires and undermines legitimate retailers, and we hope this latest successful prosecution further demonstrates the county council is determined to protect our communities from this sort of crime.”