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Leicestershire Shopkeeper Prosecuted for Selling Counterfeit Cigarettes

The owner of a Leicestershire convenience store has been ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work after he pleaded guilty to selling illicit tobacco from under the counter in his shop.

Dlawar Mohamad Jamil was prosecuted after Trading Standards officers carried out three test purchases at Coalville Mini Market at 12 High Street, Coalville on separate occasions between June and October 2022, during which they were sold illegal tobacco products, which were hidden away in the shop.

Leicester Time: Leicestershire Shopkeeper Prosecuted for Selling Counterfeit Cigarettes
Picture: Leicestershire Trading Standards

Mr Jamil pleaded guilty to 17 charges relating to the supply of illicit tobacco products when he appeared at Leicester Magistrates Court on Wednesday 31 January.

The court heard that in June 2022, Mr Jamil sold the Trading Standards test purchaser a counterfeit packet of cigarettes for £5 – less than half the price of a genuine pack – and offered various other brands.

A further packet of cigarettes was sold by the business in July 2022, followed up by an enforcement visit to search for illegal tobacco.  The search was supported by the police and a tobacco detection dog named Billy, which successfully identified a concealed shelf under the counter containing 107 packets of cigarettes.

The seized tobacco had a street value of £535, and would have been worth an estimated £1,123.50 if the cigarettes had been genuine brands.

This did not deter Mr Jamil, who again sold a further two packets of illegal cigarettes in October 2022 when Trading Standards again made a test purchase.

Magistrates imposed a Community Punishment Order on Mr Jamil, which means he will need to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work within the next 12 months.

He was also ordered to pay prosecution costs of £1,000 and a victim surcharge of £95.