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30 September 2021

Tip-off’s land Barrow shopkeeper in court on fake tobacco charges

A man has pleaded guilty to possessing large quantities of illegal cigarettes and tobacco following an investigation by Cumbria Trading Standards.

Haywa Ahmedi Mohamed of the European Food Store, 132 Dalton Road, Barrow-In-Furness was handed a high-level community order of 200 hours unpaid work which he must complete within 12 months.

Mohamed appeared before Barrow Magistrates Court yesterday (Wednesday 29 September), charged with being in possession of over 20,000 illicit cigarettes and a quantity of counterfeit hand-rolling tobacco. The goods were ordered to be forfeited and will be destroyed.

Following tip-off’s from the public, Cumbria Trading Standards Officers visited The European Food Store on Dalton Road on two occasions during 2020, seizing illicit tobacco on both occasions.

The court case has prompted Cumbria County Council's Trading Standards service to pledge that they will continue to take action against those selling such items.

Councillor Celia Tibble, Cabinet Member for Trading Standards, said:

"These are serious criminal offences. Illegal sales of tobacco in Cumbria have a huge impact on people’s health.

"When these counterfeit products are sold, at considerably below the price of the legal product, they undermine the efforts to reduce the prevalence of smoking. They also encourage people who want to quit to maintain their habit.

"We will not tolerate the illegal sales of tobacco and will continue to take firm action to stop this type of activity by using our enforcement powers against those we catch.

"Our officers routinely act on intelligence we receive, as they did in this case, so I would encourage consumers to continue to report those involved in selling illicit tobacco because their valuable information can significantly aid our investigations."

Colin Cox, Director of Public Health at Cumbria County Council, added:

"Young people are particularly at risk from the illegal trade in selling counterfeit tobacco products.

"I would encourage anyone with information about illegal tobacco sellers to report them to Trading Standards on 0808 223 1133."


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A man has pleaded guilty to possessing large quantities of illegal cigarettes and tobacco following an investigation by Cumbria Trading Standards.