A man who peddled fake branded cigarettes over the internet from his bedroom has been fined.
Gurditar Singh, 23, who calls himself Gurdz, supplied the illegal products to undercover investigators who received intelligence about his Facebook page.
But he continued to sell the products online, which had no health warnings.
The authorities were unable to interview him.
Preston Magistrates’ Court heard packs of illicit cigarettes and tobacco are usually labelled in foreign languages or bear out-of-date health warnings, so fail to act as a reminder to UK smokers of the associated health risks with smoking.
Prosecuting, Claire Box said they tend to be sold for half the price of legal products, undermining price related efforts to reduce smoking in adults and children and threatening the livelihood of law abiding retailers in the area as they struggle to compete.
She said: “ In January Trading Standards received intelligence that a Facebook user, ‘Gurdz Singh’, was advertising tobacco for sale. On January 30 a Trading Standards officer was able to purchase three packets of Amber Leaf tobacco from Mr Singh. These three packets failed to bear the correct health warnings.”
Officers raided his home on Tulketh Road, Ashton, Preston, with a warrant in March and found 37 packs of incorrectly labelled Amber Leaf tobacco in his bedroom. Despite this, he continued to offer illicit tobacco for sale via Facebook.
Unemployed Singh was fined £110 and ordered to pay a £150 court charge, £140 costs and a £20 surcharge.