Pair sold fake and dangerous fags at a Mansfield shop

09-0565-2''Mansfield Magistrates Court
09-0565-2''Mansfield Magistrates Court

A Polish woman and a male asylum seeker have pleaded guilty to selling counterfeit and dangerous cigarettes at a Mansfield shop.

Anna Janiszewska and Luqman Ahmid admitted three counts each of possessing goods with a false trade mark for hire and supplying a dangerous product, without the consent of the proprietor, when they appeared at Mansfield Magistrates; Court on Wednesday.

The court heard Trading standards officers from Nottinghamshire County Council made test purchases at the Sun Star mini market on Church Street, on October 9.

Prosecuting for the authority Nicola Schofield, said an officer had bought a packet of Mayfair branded cigarettes for £3.50 which were tested and found to be counterfeit.

Anna Janiszewska, 29 of Hope Street, Mansfield admitted taking the money from the officer for the cigarettes.

A single parent, she had lived in the UK for four years and worked in the shop to support her three children. The court was told it was clear she was at the low level of the chain of selling them.

Ahmid, 32 of Church Street, had brought them from the rear of the shop, the court heard.

Officers inspected the property and found 97 packets of cigarettes and five packets of tobacco concealed in an electricity box next to the rear door of the premises.

Arrested under caution Ahmid said he had been working in the shop and had been living above it for 15 days.

He admitted being involved in the sale of cigarettes he knew were illegal, but said he had no choice because as an asylum seeker he needed money to support himself.

Branded cigarettes and tobacco included Mayfair and Golden Virginia were counterfeit and Pect NZ Gold and Minsk cigarettes were found to be dangerous products.

The court heard they were tested and did not self-extinguish as British regulations stipulated.

Ms Schofield told the court: “Smoking related house fires costs the country £507 million a year.

“Counterfeit cigarettes are unfair competition for legitimate sales and reduce the tax revenue for essential services.”

Both defendants were fined £60 with costs of £200 a criminal court charge of £180 and a victim surcharge of £20.