Preston shop and two workers face steep costs over illicit tobacco sales

Mustafa Pouryan
Mustafa Pouryan

Two shop workers and a firm that shop sold illicit tobacco products have been slapped with fines and costs totalling almost £5,000.

Director Mustafa Pouryan, employee Masoud Yousifzadeh, aka Hassan, and firm Dobre Polskie Smacki Ltd were found guilty of trading offences at the Krakow store on New Hall Lane.

It comes after illicit products were sold to undercover volunteers in FIVE separate incidents between January and October 2017.

READ MORE: Bungling Preston shop sold illicit goods to undercover officers FIVE times - landing two employees in court

Preston Magistrates’ Court heard in January, February and October 2017 a Polish-speaking volunteer was handed a packet of cigarettes for £5.50 in a black plastic bag, which the worker had left the shop to get.

A trading standards officer saw Yousifzadeh, 34, of Driscoll Street, Preston, exit the shop and go to the boot of a car.

Officers introduced themselves before seizing 123 packs of improperly labelled cigarettes and tobacco from the boot.

He was convicted of aiding and abetting the company.

Mustafa Pouryan, 34, of Watling Street Road, Fulwood, Preston, was inside the shop.

At first he denied Yousifzadeh worked there and, when officers found shift rotas bearing the name Masoud, he said that was a different Masoud and that the rotas were a year old.

Throughout the trial Pouryan, who had pleaded guilty to similar offences in 2015, continued to claim the sales were going on “behind his back” and without his knowledge, which the judge rejected.

Yousifzadeh, who has since changed his name to Masoud Hassan, said that he had been secretly selling packs to shop customers for about six weeks before he was caught. but had nothing to do with the January and February sales.

Pouryan and the firm were convicted of five tobacco labelling charges.

He must pay a £1,100 fine, a £110 surcharge and £1,000 costs, while Dobre Polskie Smacki received a £1,000 fine, and must pay a £100 surcharge and £1,000 costs.

Yousifzadeh admits abetting the company and must pay a £250 fine, £30 surcharge and £300 costs.

Defending, Vicki Cartmell said Krakow now “operates lawfully under a new owner”.