TWO CITY shopkeepers have pleaded guilty to selling illegal cigarettes following a raid by police and trading standards officers.
Mohammed Ali Kamal, 36, of Timberdine Avenue, admitted possessing and selling counterfeit tobacco at Yasmin Stores in Lowesmoor when he appeared at Worcester Magistrates Court earlier this month.
Jaza Sharif, aged 38, of Asha Court in St John’s also pleaded guilty to a number of offences for the same charge at the Green Store.
Yasmin Stores also lost its licence to sell alcohol as a result of the illegal tobacco sales at a licensing committee hearing in July.
During the raid on February 25, a team including a specialist tobacco sniffer dog, found a number of products which were either counterfeit or did not carry the legally required safety warnings.
Mr Kamal was ordered to pay a fine of £400, a victim surcharge of £20 and £1,000 towards Trading Standards costs.
Mr Sharif was ordered to pay a £500 fine, a victim surcharge of £20 and £1,000 towards Trading Standards costs.
Coun Mark Bullivant, Worcestershire Regulatory Services Joint Committee chairman , said public safety was its priority.
“This action will also protect local businesses that sell cigarettes responsibly and legitimately,” he said.
“I’m proud to say that our service will always act to protect the residents wherever required.”
To report a business selling counterfeit or unsafe goods contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 04 05 06.