A WORCESTER shop owner who sold fake and illicit tobacco to his customers has been handed a £1,000 fine.
Dyar Ali Mahmood, owner of the Green Stores in Lowesmoor, pleaded guilty to 11 offences under the Consumer Protection Act 1987 and the Trade Marks Act 1994 when he appeared at Worcester Magistrates Court on Thursday, July 7.
Worcestershire Trading Standards brought the case after a raid at the premises in December 2015 where a quantity of fake and illicit tobacco was seized.
The raid came after a previous prosecution of the former owner in October 2014 and complaints of further sales from the shop.
In mitigation, Mahmood stated that he did not know it was illegal to sell cigarettes which he had bought from customers.
He was ordered to pay £1,020 in fines and legal costs. A forfeiture Order was granted by the court for all of the illegal tobacco seized.
Peter Holmes, Senior Trading Standards Officer, said: “We are disappointed with the level of fine imposed but accept the decision of the court.
“The trade in illicit tobacco undermines the local and national economy and can drive legitimate traders out of business. Although these cigarettes are cheap compared to legitimate brands, there is no control on their manufacture and you could be smoking anything, particularly if the cigarettes are fake.”
“As a Service we are here to protect the public and legitimate businesses and we will prosecute those that flout the law. Businesses that have licenses to sell alcohol should be warned that if they are caught with illicit tobacco, they can lose that licence”.