Two Doncaster shopkeepers have been prosecuted over illicit cigarettes.
Searches by Trading Standards at two local premises have led to the pair being sentenced for breach of the Trade Marks Act & General Product Safety Regulations - leading to the seizure of 6,960 cigarettes.
Edris Mohammed was sentenced at Doncaster Magistrates Court for the breach at Leva Mini Market, Sandringham Road, Intake. He was sentenced to a 12 months community order with 40 hours of unpaid work, £700 contribution to costs and £85 victim surcharge.
Trading Standards found 180 packets - 3,600 sticks - of illicit tobacco along with one packet of 'Golden Virginia' branded hand rolling tobacco in the shop. This included some cigarettes that were unsafe as they did not self-extinguish.
Mohammed Abdul Khader of Lifestyle Express, Rockingham Road, Wheatley was sentenced to a 12 months community order, £700 contribution to costs and £85 victim surcharge.
A total of 3360 cigarettes were seized, from 18 different brands. Three of the brands were counterfeit, two were tested for ignition propensity and did not self-extinguish so they were unsafe.
Gill Gillies, Assistant Director of Environment at Doncaster Council, said: “Anyone involved in selling illegal tobacco is encouraging people, including children, to smoke by providing a cheap source.
“These products are dangerous, and offenders need to understand that they will face consequences if they choose to sell them. I would urge anyone with information about the supply of illicit tobacco to contact us via the Citizen’s Advice consumer helpline on 03454 040506.”
Doncaster Council director of public health, Dr Rupert Suckling said: “All tobacco is harmful, but the supply of illegal cigarettes seriously undermines the drive to reduce smoking, fuels organised criminality and is often a gateway for young people to becoming addicted to a habit which prematurely kills over half its users.”