Mansfield shopkeeper gets 300-hour community order for fake cigs possession

Police tape.
Police tape.
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A Mansfield shopkeeper has received a 300-hour community punishment order and £1,000 costs for possessing counterfeit tobacco at the town’s magistrate’s court last week.

Ali Hassan Lukman of Thoresby Street, Mansfield, pleaded guilty to four offences against the Trades Marks Act 1994 and three offences against the Consumer Protection Act 1987.

Nottinghamshire County Council’s Trading Standards team carried out a test purchase at the European Food Store on West Gate in April and were sold two packets of counterfeit Mayfair cigarettes for £3 each.

The team visited the shop three times and seized a total of 823 illicit cigarette packets and 39 tobacco pouches.

A sample of cigarettes was tested and failed the requirements of the UK safety legislation. They also did not bear the legally required health warnings.

Councillor Alice Grice, Vice-Chair of Nottinghamshire County Council’s Community Safety Committee, said: “Smoking is 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.

“The counterfeit cigarettes that we seized from this shopkeeper failed to have the correct health warnings and were found to be unsafe as they do not self-extinguish when not smoked.

“They also have an impact on vital public services such as the NHS due a loss in tax revenue.

“We hope this prosecution sends out a clear message to other Nottinghamshire shopkeepers that we will pursue them if they sell illicit cigarettes.”

Anyone with information about people selling counterfeit tobacco and cigarettes in their area should call Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 04 05 06.

People can also ring Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or by visiting www.crimestoppers-uk.org.uk

nyone wantin to stop smoking can contact their local stop smoking service through their GP or community pharmacy or through New Leaf on 0800 389 7712 or text ‘leaf’ free to 80800.