News item

Eight men plead guilty to illegal cigarette charges

Eight men have pleaded guilty to a variety of offences relating to the sale of illegally imported cigarettes and counterfeit tobacco in Peterborough.

The men were charged following an operation led by Peterborough City Council Trading Standards and supported by HM Revenue and Customs and Cambridgeshire police.

Officers raided a number of premises in Peterborough on November 15 last year and recovered more than 38,000 illegal cigarettes and 11kg of tobacco.

Eight men appeared at Peterborough Magistrates' Court on Wednesday (30 April). All but one of the shopkeepers admitted selling cigarettes which failed to meet British safety standards.

By law cigarettes must have built in barriers which mean they self extinguish if they are not used. 

Some of the cigarettes recovered during this operation did not have this feature so would continue to burn if left unattended, increasing the risk of causing a fire.

Magistrates’ chairman Alan Jones told the defendants who sold the sub-standard cigarettes that they were putting the public at risk by distributing products that were not safe.

He said they had also defrauded honest retailers, cigarette manufacturers and Revenue and Customs.

The court was told the packs of cigarettes were found in a number of places including inside a toilet door, a tandoori oven and an electric fire.

The following defendants appeared in court on Wednesday: 
Abdul Samad Torab (35) of Thurning, near Peterborough, pleaded guilty to selling cigarettes without a visible picture health warning, selling cigarettes which failed to meet British safety standards and selling counterfeit tobacco at Peterborough Food Store  in Lincoln Road.

The court was told Torab had a previous conviction for selling illegal cigarettes.

Majid Said (38) of Cromwell Road, Peterborough, pleaded guilty to selling cigarettes without a visible picture health warning and selling cigarettes which failed to meet British safety standards at the Al Qibla store in Cromwell Road. 

Mohammed Kazemi (33), of Bedford Street, Peterborough, pleaded guilty to selling cigarettes without a visible picture health warning, selling counterfeit tobacco and selling cigarettes which failed to meet British safety standards at Kubus 2 in Eastfield Road. 

Khaliq Dad Nassari (41), of Eastfield Road, Peterborough, admitted selling cigarettes without a visible picture health warning and selling cigarettes which failed to meet British safety standards at Europe & Asia in Eastfield Road.

Faisal Sadat (40) of Saxon Road, Peterborough, pleaded guilty to selling cigarettes without a visible picture health warning and selling cigarettes which failed to meet British safety standards at Kubus Mini Market in Lincoln Road.

Karim Hassan (36) of Ingleborough, Peterborough, pleaded guilty to selling cigarettes without a visible picture health warning and selling cigarettes which failed to meet British safety standards at Europe Shop in Eastfield Road

Salam Hamed (38) of Mountbatten Way, Peterborough, pleaded guilty to selling cigarettes without a visible picture health warning and selling cigarettes which failed to meet British safety standards at EU Food Store in Lincoln Road.

Ali Hussain (40) of Hallerton Road, Peterborough, pleaded guilty to selling cigarettes without a visible picture health warning and selling counterfeit tobacco at Arianna Food Store in Cromwell Road.
Magistrates adjourned the cases until May 23 and asked for pre-sentencing reports. 

ENDS

DATE: 01 May 2014