Shop worker fined for selling illegal tobacco in Rugeley
A shop worker has been ordered to pay fines and costs totalling £635 for selling illicit tobacco in Rugeley.
Fuaad Mohammed, 41, from Aviemore Way, Derby, pleaded guilty to the offences at North Staffordshire Magistrates Court on Friday.
Following a search of the premise Yum Yum, in Brewery Street, on 25 November 2016, Staffordshire County Council’s trading standards officers accompanied by the police and a specialist sniffer dog found a total of 17,120 illegal cigarettes and 10.35kgs of tobacco.
The stash, with an estimated street value of £5,500 was found in a back room of the shop and in a hidden cupboard.
Gill Heath, cabinet member responsible for trading standards at Staffordshire County Council said: “The sale of illicit tobacco is a crime which not only damages local communities but harms legitimate businesses and we will take action against individuals who knowingly sell it.
“This successful prosecution shows that we take the issue seriously and while people can try and hide, they will ultimately face justice.”
The investigation was part of a wider multi-agency operation aimed at disrupting the criminal activities of foreign nationals known as Operation Trivium.
Councillor Heath added: “The sale of illicit goods evades tax which ultimately affects public services and their sale can fund criminal gangs. Our trading standards team continue to target their resources where they know the sale of such goods is going on. And now, we can reinvest money recovered under the Proceeds of Crime Act from criminal activity in Staffordshire which is reinvested in the service.”
Anyone with information about the sale of illicit goods can call Staffordshire’s confidential trading standards line on 01785 330356.
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