Preston shopkeeper prosecuted over illicit tobacco...again!

Illicit products were found in phone accessory boxes in Megasaver, Fishergate Hill

Illicit products were found in phone accessory boxes in Megasaver, Fishergate Hill

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Qadeer Akhter, 32, of Nevett Street, Callon, Preston, sold illegal tobacco to an undercover LEP reporter three years ago.

Despite being given a warning for the offence he has gone on to be prosecuted THREE times for supplying black market products from the Megasaver shop on Fishergate Hill.

His ideas of where to stash the bootleg products have grown more and more inventive with trading standards investigators finding products hung up on display - hidden inside i-Phone accessory boxes - in their most recent visit to the notorious shop.

In his latest appearance before Preston Magistrates’ Court, the bench imposed 200 hours of unpaid work and ordered him to pay £190 costs and a £60 surcharge after he admitted possessing illicit tobacco for supply.

Prosecuting for Lancashire Trading Standards, Nick McNamara said: “ The premise is known to officers in connection with previous sales and seizures of illicit tobacco products and, while there, officers came upon three packs of cigarettes and a pouch of hand-rolling tobacco, none of which complied with the regulations.

“The cigarettes were a black-market brand manufactured specifically for under-the-counter sales and did not display any picture warnings or prescribed text warnings.

“When interviewed he made a full and frank admission that the packs were his and that he had hidden them himself, intending to sell them.”

The court heard incorrectly labelled tobacco denies consumers “valuable information about the dangers of smoking” and are sold for around half the price of legal packets, making the habit more affordable.