Gainsborough man guilty of selling counterfeit tobacco

Lincolnshire Trading Standards issued this photo of the illegal cigarettes.
Lincolnshire Trading Standards issued this photo of the illegal cigarettes.

A Gainsborough man has been handed a suspended custodial sentence for selling counterfeit tobacco.

Omed Haval was sentenced to a four-week custodial sentence, suspended for 12 months, at Lincoln Magistrates Court and ordered to pay £3,256.87, with a victim surcharge of £115.

The successful conviction was the result of a joint operation between Lincolnshire Trading Standards and Lincolnshire Police.

A warrant was executed at a shop on Trinity Street, Gainsborough, on September 19, 2017, following a test purchase at the address.

A metal door under the counter was found to contain counterfeit or dangerous cigarettes and tobacco. A vehicle outside, which the defendant admitted was his, also had cigarettes and tobacco inside.

Haval faced seven charges. Charge one related to the test purchase carried out on July 25, 2017, while charges two to seven relate to counterfeit Regal and Richmond cigarettes, possession of criminal property, namely 6,520 cigarettes and 5kg of hand-rolling tobacco, possession of dangerous cigarettes - "Minsk" brand which failed the ignition propensity test - and two further labelling offences in relation to Rothman cigarettes and Cutters choice tobacco.

Trademark holders confirmed that 198 packets of Regal and Richmond cigarettes were counterfeit. The Minsk cigarettes were tested and found to be dangerous.

In addition, many of the brands were not correctly labelled and had been manufactured for use and sale in other European countries.

The court took into account this was Haval's first offence.

In addition to his sentence and costs, the court ordered the forfeiture and disposal of the cigarettes and hand-rolling tobacco. The items are due to be burned to create electricity.