A SHOPKEEPER from St Leonards has been handed a suspended prison sentence after being caught selling bogus tobacco.
Hashim Mohammad was found to have counterfeit brands and packs of tobacco without the required health warning at his shop, Dilan Convenience Store, in Battle Road.
In a hearing at Eastbourne Magistrates’ Court on Friday, August 7 2015, Mohammad, of Warrior Square, was given a six week jail sentence, suspended for 12 months, following a prosecution by East Sussex Trading Standards.
Cllr Rupert Simmons, East Sussex County Council lead member for economy, said: “The trade in cheap, counterfeit tobacco encourages more people to smoke and puts their health at risk.
“It also costs the taxpayer in lost tax revenue, and for all of these reasons, we won’t hesitate to prosecute anyone we find offering these items for sale.
“This crime also undermines perfectly legitimate traders carrying out their business in accordance with the rules.
“This is another excellent result for our Trading Standards team and should send out a clear message that when it comes to sale of illegal tobacco products, there are no winners.”
Mohammad admitted two counts of selling packets of tobacco without the required health warnings, ten counts of possessing for sale counterfeit packets and one count of breaching Trade Mark legislation.
In addition to his suspended jail term, he was ordered to carry out 210 hours’ unpaid work, pay £500 in court costs and an £80 victim surcharge and to forfeit the products seized for destruction.
The court action was as the result of an ongoing partnership work between the county council’s Trading Standards and Public Health teams to tackle the trade in illegal tobacco in East Sussex.
Anyone with information about the sale of illegal tobacco products is asked to contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org
Information given will help the Trading Standards team target those responsible and contribute to improving the health of the public by disrupting illegal traders.