A shopkeepe who has persistently traded illegal tobacco products has been prosecuted as authorities continue to get tough on the black market trade.
Dana Hamid, 34, of Eeze Shop in Chorley, received six months, suspended for 24 months, after he was found guilty of three offences of selling incorrectly labelled tobacco and one of selling counterfeit tobacco.
Investigators found products stashed in a vacuum cleaner, a compartment in a chair seat, a hidden compartment next to a sink and in a fridge following test purchases in June.
Hamid was sentenced for similar offences in June under the alias Ali Ahmed, and in Derbyshire under the alias Dana Amid in August.
Prosecuting at Chorley Magistrates’ Court, Nick McNamara said: “Illicit tobacco is usually labelled in foreign languages that carry no health warnings,and are sold for half the price of their lawful counterparts making it a more affordable habit, and threatening the livelihood of law abiding retailers in the area
“153 packets of cigarettes and tobacco were seized as they failed to carry the required warnings. Samples of the Golden Virginia tobacco were sent to their trade mark representative as they were suspected of being counterfeit, this was subsequently confirmed.
“Whilst smoking in general is an unhealthy habit, there are further risks with counterfeit tobacco, as unlike their genuine counterparts, there are no controls over what goes into making them, or on the levels of harmful substances they might contain.
Hamid, of Church Street, Littleover, Derby, must do 300 hours unpaid work and pay £870 costs.