Shop manager admits selling counterfeit cigarettes
A haul of illegal and ‘potentially lethal’ cigarettes was seized from a shop in Stapleford earlier this summer.
Manager of the Robert Bower newsagent, Aram Majid-Amin confessed to possessing 48 packets of illicit cigarettes and 31 pouches of rolling tobacco.
He was sentenced to 100 hours of community service and ordered to pay £1,130 prosecution costs by Mansfield Magistrates on Tuesday 18 August.
The discovery was made when Trading Standards officers from Nottinghamshire County Council visited the shop for an inspection and found six suspicious looking cigarette packets which Majid-Amin initially tried to hide.
They then discovered the rest of his stash in a locked box which he denies any knowledge of despite having access to the key.
Majid-Amin says that he bought the counterfeit cigarettes behind the counter from a Polish man who claims he sells 200-400 cigarettes a day.
He paid £22 for a sleeve of ten packets of the cigarettes and sold each pack for £3, making 80p profit per pack.
Councillor Alice Grice, vice-chair of the Community Safety Committee at Nottinghamshire County Council believes that smoking is known to be a major health issue and cheaper cigarettes undermine the Government’s pricing strategy which has been shown to reduce the number of people who smoke.
“Sales of counterfeit cigarettes also have a negative impact on legitimate businesses by creating unfair competition, as well as reducing tax revenues which are needed for essential services such as the hospitals, schools and transport.”
Brand holders confirmed that the cigarettes were counterfeit and a sample of cigarettes labelled Gold Classic did not meet requirements of UK safety legislation as they did not self-extinguish when left unattended.