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Swadlincote shop owner will pay £5,000 over illegal cigarettes

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: August 29, 2014

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THE former owner of a Swadlincote convenience store has been told he faces prison if he does not pay back £5,000 after he was caught selling illegal cigarettes.

Listening through a Kurdish Iranian interpreter, Ridah Jaf was sentenced over four trademark offences when he appeared at Derby Crown Court .

He admitted the four counts following a raid at Mr Cheap, on The Delph, by Derbyshire County Council trading standards officers.

On March 14 last year, 12 packets of 20 counterfeit Benson and Hedges Gold brand and five 50g packs of Golden Virginia rolling tobacco were seized in a joint operation with police, following a tip-off.

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And on the second visit, on April 5 last year, a further 12 packets of 20 counterfeit Benson and Hedges Gold brand as well as nineteen 50g packs of counterfeit Golden Virginia were found on the premises and confiscated.

The shop also sold a packet of illegal cigarettes to the Mail's undercover reporter last year.

Jaf has been fined £50 per offence, totalling £200, and told to pay a £20 victim surcharge, to be paid in weekly instalments of £20.

Under the Proceeds of Crime Act the county council was also granted a confiscation order for £5,000.

The 41-year-old was told he has six months to pay this, or he faces a three month jail sentence.

Mr Cheap shop assistant Ali Salah, 25, of Rawdon Street, Derby, was previously ordered to pay £760 in costs for selling illegal cigarettes.

Dave Allen, Derbyshire County Council's cabinet member for health and communities, said: "This successful prosecution sends out a clear message to traders who sell illegal tobacco that we will not tolerate it.

"We always act on information that we get and we want these traders to know we will catch them and we will prosecute them.

"We have a duty to protect consumers and legitimate traders, as well as doing what we can to discourage people from smoking, and we will continue taking a hard line on those people who break the law."

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