Clacton shop owner pleads guilty to selling illegal tobacco after Essex Trading Standards investigation
Mawlud Sabir of Fairhead Road, Colchester has yesterday (Wednesday 25th November) pleaded guilty of the possession, with a view to supply of illegal tobacco; as a result of an Essex Trading Standards Investigation into the activities at Pier Avenue Store, Clacton-on-Sea.
Sabir was sentenced at Colchester Magistrates Court to 240 unpaid hours work in the community as well as £6000 costs and an £85 victim surcharge.
The conviction comes following an Essex Trading Standards investigation between 2017-2019 and the sentencing is in relation to a total of six charges.
Essex Trading Standards brought the prosecution under The Trade Marks Act 1994 and The Tobacco and Related Product (Safety) Regulations 2016.
Pier Avenue Store, Clacton-on-Sea was raided by Trading Standards and HMRC on three occasions between November 2017 and April 2019 resulting in the seizure of over 27,000 counterfeit and duty-evaded cigarettes and nearly 23kg of hand rolling tobacco. Tobacco detection dogs from BWY Canine were employed to detect hidden concealments of tobacco in special concealed areas in the ceiling of the shop’s toilet. On one occasion a man fled the shop but was later caught and arrested nearby.
Cllr Susan Barker Cabinet Member for Customer, Corporate, Culture and Communities; “Today’s sentencing sends a clear message to individuals that continue to break the law.”
“Essex Trading Standards has an ongoing commitment to protecting the health of our residents and supporting legitimate businesses who are undermined by the sale of illegal tobacco. Counterfeit goods have acknowledged links to organised crime and cause a significant financial detriment to the wider economy”