Trader selling illegal tobacco has display unit removed

Shop's internal wall showing clear signs of a fixture removal

A shopkeeper has had his tobacco display unit removed by a national tobacco company after being found guilty of selling illegal tobacco products.

Imperial Tobacco today announced that Ari Aziz Mohammed of UK Mini Market in Smethwick, near Birmingham, has had his tobacco display unit removed after being in breach of the conditions of his agreement with the company.

Peter Nelson, Imperial Tobacco Anti-Illicit Trade Manager, said:  “This sends out a strong message to any retailer looking to profit from this illegal activity that there will be significant consequences if they are caught.

“Imperial Tobacco will not tolerate abuse of our tobacco units especially when they are used or associated with the peddling of illegal tobacco.

“Mr. Mohammed’s actions have threatened the livelihoods of other retailers in Smethwick and deprived the Government of much needed revenue.”

The company’s actions have been backed by Bob Charnley, the Trading Standards Manager for Sandwell Council.

He said: “The sale of cheap illegal tobacco undermines legitimate businesses and supports international organised criminal gangs.

“We hope that the enforcement action we have undertaken will send out a strong message that the sale of counterfeit cigarettes is not acceptable in the borough of Sandwell.”

Following a raid by Trading Standards in August and subsequent successful prosecution in relation to selling illegal tobacco product, Mohammed was fined £500 and ordered to pay costs of £1,868 and a victim surcharge of £50.