Shopkeeper’s fake cig scam

A shopkeeper with premises in Hucknall and Sutton-in-Ashfield was jailed for 21 weeks for counterfeit tobacco possession at Nottingham Crown Court last Friday (6th March).

Amir Ibrahim Ali, 24 of Palm Court, Nottingham, was found guilty of offences against the Trades Marks Act 1994 and the Consumer Protection Act 1987 relating to Sutton Mini Market store on Brook Street, Sutton-in-Ashfield.

Nottinghamshire County Council’s Trading Standards team carried out a raid of the store in October and 4,340 cigarettes and 4kg tobacco were seized, some of which were found to be counterfeit and potentially dangerous. All of the products were duty evaded.

Two raids of Hucknall Mini Market on High Street, which Ali also managed, took place last April and 3,200 illicit cigarettes and 1.5kg of illicit tobacco were seized.

He was later found guilty by Nottingham Magistrates Court of Trades Mark Act and Consumer Protection Act offences relating to the Hucknall store.

Councillor Glynn Gilfoyle, Chair of Nottinghamshire County Council’s Community Safety Committee, said: “The sentence that the court has given to Ali reflects the scale of his illicit tobacco product possession and him not attending his last sentencing hearing.

Smoking is a major health issue and cheaper illicit cigarettes undermine the Government’s pricing strategy, which has been shown to reduce the number of people who smoke.

“They also have an impact on vital public services such as the NHS due to 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.

Nottinghamshire residents wanting 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.