A counterfeit cigarette salesman has been jailed after trading the illegal products from a market in Sutton-in-Ashfield. Serwan Ali, of Bridge Street in Wigan, sold counterfeit and illicit tobacco products at Friends Mini Market in Low Street in October last year.
He was one of two men to be caught and prosecuted by Nottinghamshire County Council’s Trading Standards team, who seized a total of £20,000 worth of illegal tobacco and cigarettes. The other man was Kargar Mushini, of Whitacre Close in Huddersfield who pleaded guilty to four offences relating to counterfeit and illicit tobacco found at Delisha of Toothill Lane, Mansfield.
On March 25, at Mansfield Magistrates’ Court, Mushini was sentenced to a 12-month community order with 120 hours unpaid work. He was also ordered to pay costs of £200 and £95 victim surcharge.
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Ali, appearing at the same court on March 4, pleaded guilty to possession and supply of counterfeit and illicit tobacco products. He was sentenced to six weeks imprisonment, suspended for 18 months and ordered to pay £600 prosecution costs.
Councillor Tom Smith, Vice Chairman of the Communities Committee at Nottinghamshire County Council said: “These products are very dangerous for consumers. They often won’t self-extinguish, which makes them a huge fire risk. We’ve also seen how the trade in illicit tobacco attracts other crime and anti-social behaviour to an area, further damaging our communities.”
“We want to send out a message to other unscrupulous traders that we will not tolerate the sale of counterfeit goods in the county. Taking action to stop these criminals and make our communities safer is our priority. We would encourage anyone who has information about the sale of illegal tobacco to report anonymously report concerns to Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111.”