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    Bolton c-store fined nearly £10k for selling illicit tobacco

    Image by Tameside Metropolitan Borough

    A Hyde business and its director have been fined almost £10,000 by Tameside magistrates for the sale and supply of illicit tobacco.

    The court heard on Monday (22) that Tameside Council trading standards officers carried out two test purchases at The Super Discount Store, Clarendon Place, Hyde, in 2022, which resulted in the shop selling illegal tobacco on both occasions.

    A later visit to the premises resulted in a seizure by trading standards officers of  84 packets of illegal cigarettes, 61 packets of illegal hand rolling tobacco and 26 packets of illegal herbal products for smoking. The haul resulted in 20 charges being brought – 10 against Humayoon Sahil, of Litherland Road, Bolton, in his capacity as a director of the business and 10 against the limited company.

    Sahil pleaded guilty to the charges. He told the court he knew what he did was wrong but he did not purchase the tobacco knowing it was counterfeit. He said he didn’t think about the potential health risks selling these cigarettes could have on the people purchasing them and didn’t feel they would have caused health issues. He said in hindsight he regrets the situation and is embarrassed and ashamed that these offences were before the court.

    Tameside magistrates sentenced Sahil to a community order of 200 hours unpaid work and ordered him to pay a total of £1,376.05 costs and victim surcharge. Super Discount Store Hyde Ltd was fined £700 for each of the 10 offences – total fine £7000. The business was also ordered to pay £1,281 costs and a £190 victim surcharge.

    Tameside Council Assistant Executive Member responsible for enforcement Cllr Vincent Ricci said, “I’m pleased to see another successful trading standards prosecution in court and the sentencing reflects the seriousness of these offences.

    “Trade in illicit tobacco costs the country more than £2 billion in lost tax revenue each year. It also supports crime rings, damages legitimate businesses, undermines public health and facilitates the supply of tobacco to young people. Public protection is a priority for us and our officers will always take enforcement action where necessary to help keep our local communities safe as well as to support local business that comply with the law.”

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