A Dagenham business has been ordered to pay out over £3,000 for selling illegal cigarettes.
On three occasions in 2022 and 2023, Longland Shop on the Heathway, Dagenham was found with illegal cigarettes on its premises by the Barking and Dagenham Council’s Trading Standards Officers and a tobacco detection dog.
Hundreds of illicit cigarettes were found hidden in various locations including under the counter, in carrier bags and on one occasion a member of staff attempted to sneak them out of the back of the shop.
Despite the council engaging with the business on multiple times and giving them several opportunities to get compliance advice on what products are allowed to be sold in the UK, Longland Shop continued to sell illegal cigarettes, the council said.
The shop and its director Cosmin-Alexandru Taralunga were summoned to Barkingside Magistrates Court on 31 October where they pleaded guilty to having in their possession illicit tobacco for supply.
The company was ordered to pay a fine of £1,000, costs to Barking and Dagenham Council of £1,887.50 and a Victim Surcharge of £400, totalling £3,287.50. Taralunga also has to pay a further £120.
Cllr Syed Ghani, the cabinet member for enforcement and community safety, said: “We take a strong stance against businesses selling illegal products especially ones that could impact on people’s health.
“The business was caught numerous times and failed to learn its lesson. They now have to pay a hefty fine. We will continue to work hard to crack down on this rule breaking.”