Man sentenced for selling illegal tobacco


Man sentenced for selling illegal tobacco

A man has been spared jail for selling counterfeit tobacco at a Freeman Street newsagents.

More than 8,000 cigarettes and 11 kilos of tobacco were seized from Hussein Suleyman Khdir’s convenience store on Freeman Street, Grimsby on 15 March 2017.

Khdir was sentenced at Grimsby Magistrates Court to a 12 month community order for a number of offences related to the sale of illicit tobacco products.

He was also ordered to pay costs of £455 and a victim surcharge of £85 and will have to perform 200 hours of unpaid work.

In court, Khdir said he would rather go to prison than do the unpaid work. The deputy district judge declined his offer, but advised him any failure to comply would most likely result in going to prison.

Despite having already pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing, Khdir failed to attend his initial sentencing and a warrant was subsequently issued for his arrest.

He was arrested last week in Burton-on-Trent, and appeared before magistrates in Grimsby for sentencing.

Khdir was charged with 15 offences under the Tobacco and Related Regulations 2016, Standardised Packaging of Tobacco Products Regulations 2015 and the Trade Marks Act 1994.

Two other men, Mohammed Zadeh and Hersh Mahmoodi, who worked in Khdir’s shop, were previously sentenced for their involvement in July 2018 and received 16 weeks and 22 weeks imprisonment respectively.

A North East Lincolnshire Council spokesperson said:

The proportion of illegal or illicit tobacco sold within the borough could account for anywhere between 17 and 20 cent of the total tobacco trade. While the impact on Government revenue is extremely high, the more worrying concern is the potential health risks involved in the sale of unregulated products, and the funding such trade provides for organised crime groups. To that end there is a push nationally to deal with the illegal trade, and North East Lincolnshire Council is keen to support that endeavour.

If you have any information relating to the sale or distribution of illicit cigarettes and tobacco in North East Lincolnshire, contact Trading Standards on (01472) 326299 (option 3).

Contact Gi Grimsby
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