Harem Sadah Qadir appeared before Southern Derbyshire Magistrates today (Monday 26 June 2023), to admit to one charge of selling counterfeit cigarettes and 4 charges of possession of counterfeit cigarettes and hand rolling tobacco with a view to gain, contrary to the Trade Marks Act 1994.
He was sentenced to a 12-month community order with 100 hours of unpaid work and ordered to pay £3,475 prosecution costs along with a £90 victim surcharge.
The court heard that Qadir committed the offences while working at Ilkeston Mini Market in Market Place, Ilkeston.
The shop was being monitored by our trading standards officers from 2019 due to information from members of the public, with test purchases and seizure of goods previously carried out in 2020 involving Qadir.
Qadir, 24, of Norwich Place, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire, received 2 warnings from trading standards following these previous visits to the premises and, after failing to heed warnings the premises were raided by our trading standards officers, accompanied by Derbyshire police, in May 2021.
In the May 2021 raid trading standards officers seized a total of 8,760 illegal cigarettes and 5.55kg of illegal hand rolling tobacco, as well as a total of £8,700 cash from Qadir and from a bedroom above the shop.
Two of the charges Qadir pleaded guilty to in court were the result of previous visits to the shop where he had received warnings.
Derbyshire County Council Cabinet Member for Health and Communities Councillor Carol Hart said:
“Our trading standards officers are working hard to tackle the issue of illegal cigarette and tobacco sales and every successful prosecution goes towards lowering the amount of illegal tobacco available for sale.
“We really appreciate members of the public reporting suspicions and will follow these up, with our work sending a strong message to traders selling illegal tobacco that they will not get away with their actions.
“While we discourage people from smoking, worryingly illegal tobacco makes it easier for children to buy cigarettes due to the lower cost, and the fact that age checks may not be carried out. We also have a duty to protect legitimate traders who are losing out due to these illegal practices.”
The 5 counts under the Trade Marks Act 1994 that Qadir admitted in court today are as follows:
- on 12 March 2020, at Ilkeston Mini Market, Ilkeston, Derbyshire, he sold 40 x counterfeit Richmond cigarettes
- on 16 March 2021, at Ilkeston Mini Market, Ilkeston, Derbyshire, with a view to gain, he had in his possession 2400 x counterfeit Mayfair cigarettes
- on 19 May 2021, at Ilkeston Mini Market, Ilkeston, Derbyshire, with a view to gain, he had in his possession 2600 x counterfeit Richmond cigarettes
- on 19 May 2021, at Ilkeston Mini Market, Ilkeston, Derbyshire, with a view to gain, he had in his possession 17 x 50g pouches of counterfeit Golden Virginia hand rolling tobacco
- on 19 May 2021, at Ilkeston Mini Market, Ilkeston, Derbyshire, with a view to gain, he had in his possession 9 x 50g pouches of counterfeit Amber Leaf hand rolling tobacco
The cash seized in the May 2021 raid is currently subject to a detention order and trading standards will now be seeking forfeiture of it following today’s successful prosecution.
Magistrates today ordered forfeiture and destruction of the products seized.
People wanting to report any suspicions of the sale of illegal tobacco should report them to the Citizens Advice consumer helpline tel: 0808 2231133 or Crimestoppers tel: 0800 555111.