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Two Lincoln shop owners prosecuted for selling counterfeit tobacco

Two Lincoln shop owners have been prosecuted and fined for selling counterfeit tobacco in the city.

Khalid Jasim of International Foods on Portland Street, and Beta Gil of Kalinka on Newark Road, were prosecuted at Lincoln Magistrates Court after raids by Lincolnshire Trading Standards and police in late 2012 and early 2013.

Jasim faced 14 charges, including general product safety, trademarks act, tobacco warning labelling and proceeds of crime. He was found guilty of all.

Earlier in the year, International Foods’ shop assistant was also prosecuted for four charges, including the sale of counterfeit tobacco. She was sentenced to fines and costs of £330.

When investigating Kalinka with Lincolnshire Police and HMRC, officers found 1.2kgs of Hand Rolling Tobacco and 3,080 cigarettes in secret concealments.

Beta Gil, the director and manageress at the store, was responsible for her company’s actions and was prosecuted. She was given 150 hours community service, plus fines and costs of £460.

Ian Newell, service manager at Lincolnshire County Council, said: “Retailers have a duty to understand how the law applies to them – and how they should follow it to ensure the safety of their customers.

“We know that counterfeit cigarettes are often more harmful to health as they can contain a higher level of toxic chemicals and are more dangerous as they do not burn out if left unattended like genuine products.”