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Community order for shop owner selling counterfeit tobacco

Posted on Friday 23rd February 2024
Ari's Mini Mart NR

Photo of Ari's Mini Mart

A shop owner in Kidsgrove has been given a community order and ordered to pay fines and costs for selling counterfeit tobacco.

Mr Dilman Ramazan, aged 23 from Sneyd Green, Stoke-on-Trent, pleaded guilty to the offences relating to the sale and supply of counterfeit tobacco from Ari’s Mini Mart, 57 Liverpool Road in the town.  He was given the sentence at North Staffordshire Justice Centre on 15 February 2024 and was given a community order for 12 months, ordered to conduct 40 hours unpaid work, and pay costs totalling £2,500

The investigation by Staffordshire County Council’s Trading Standards service was sparked following numerous reports from the public about the business selling illegal goods.

During searches of the premises between 15 March 2022 and 15 August 2022, officers found a total of 5,380 illicit cigarettes, 10.6kg of illicit hand rolling tobacco and 265 illegal vapes.  The seizure has an estimated street value of £7,179.

Victoria Wilson, Cabinet Member responsible for Trading Standards at Staffordshire County Council said:

“Our Trading Standards service takes the sale of illicit tobacco and counterfeit goods very seriously and take action on those breaking the law.

“This is yet another successful prosecution that should send out a clear warning to others selling such products.  The sale of illicit tobacco not only damages local communities but harms legitimate businesses, which harms local communities. 

“The service does rely on intelligence from members of the public and it’s because of this we managed to reach a satisfactory outcome.

“Counterfeiting and the trade in illicit tobacco is also closely linked to organised crime, so buying such goods is only putting money in criminal’s pockets.  Anyone with information on the sale of illegal goods should contact our Trading Standards team.”

Lord Michael Bichard, Chair, National Trading Standards, said:

“The trade in illegal tobacco harms local communities and affects honest businesses operating within the law. Having removed 21 million illegal cigarettes, 5,800kg of hand rolling tobacco and almost 175kg of shisha products from sale, the National Trading Standards initiative in partnership with HMRC continues to successfully disrupt this illicit trade.”

Mr Ramazan also received a caution in January 2022, following an earlier seizure of illicit tobacco and cigarettes and a number of counterfeit Apple devices and accessories in June 2021.

Anyone with information about the sale of illicit goods can call Staffordshire’s confidential trading standards hotline on 01785 330356.

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