Store owner guilty of selling illicit tobacco
Published: 1 September 2021
On Wednesday 28th April 2021 at Mansfield Justice Centre, acting as a Nightingale Crown Court, Mr Amin Ismail Amin, 50, was found guilty of 12 offences relating to illegal cigarettes and tobacco sold from shops at two shops in Derby.
Mr Amin was the owner of Star European Market, Pear tree Road and Smart News, Chellaston Road when quantities of foreign labelled cigarettes and hand rolling tobacco were found on three separate occasions during inspections in 2018 and 2019. These had been smuggled into the country illegally along with counterfeit tobacco. The retail value of the tobacco totalled around £2,000.
Following sentencing at Derby Crown Court on Wednesday 1st September 2021, Mr Amin was sentenced to 8 months, suspended for 18 months due to mitigating factors, for 12 offences, seven were for counterfeit products and five related to incorrect tobacco labelling. He was also ordered to complete 10 rehabilitation days, 180 hours of unpaid work in the community and be subject to a 4 month electronic curfew 7pm-7am. Confiscation and forfeiture proceedings are to follow.
Tobacco is required to be sold in plain packaging and Trading Standards are seeing counterfeit plain packaged tobacco entering the market as well as more colourful packaging intended for non-UK markets.
The City Council’s Trading Standards team continue to work closely with HMRC and Derbyshire Constabulary to tackle the sale and supply of illicit tobacco in the city and have seen a number of prosecutions as a result.
Derby City Council’s Trading Standards Team Leader Fakir Osman said:
Our Trading Standards team is playing its part in tackling this trade which has a complex profile and links to organised crime. The trade in Illicit cigarettes steals business away from legitimate retailers by undercutting costs set by Government and Illicit cigarettes often present a fire risk as they do not go out when left unattended. We will continue to clamp down on the illegal sales of such goods and ensure the people in Derby are safe from traders who break the law.
Councillor Jonathan Smale, Cabinet Member for Place and Community Development said:
This is another good for our fantastic Trading Standards team. Working alongside the Police and other agencies we will continue to fight to protect the citizens of Derby from this damaging trade.
Members of the public can report the suspect sale of illicit cigarettes confidentially through Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, Action Fraud 0300 123 2040 or Citizens Advice 0808 223 1133.