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Lincoln shop owner prosecuted for selling illegal cigarettes

A Lincoln shop owner who was found to sell fake and illegal cigarettes has been prosecuted by Lincolnshire Trading Standards.

Foods 4 You on Portland Street was raided on July 2013, when 3,920 cigarettes and 29 packets of tobacco were seized.

Shop owner Sherko Saeed (31) appeared at Lincoln Magistrates Court on March 27, pleading guilty to all charges.

He was handed a 12-week prison sentence, suspended for nine months and ordered to pay legal costs of £1,078, plus a victim surcharge of £80.

As previously reported, tobacco detection dog Indie and officers found the cigarettes in a “secret wall” and concealed under the counter.

Indie the sniffer dog, a key member of the Lincolnshire Trading Standards team. Photo: Lincolnshire Trading Standards
Indie the sniffer dog, a key member of the Lincolnshire Trading Standards team. Photo: Lincolnshire Trading Standards

Emma Milligan, senior Trading Standards officer, said: “Shops that sell fake cigarettes are conning consumers and taking money away from local businesses that do trade legitimately.

“It isn’t fair that they should lose out because they cannot compete with the cheap prices of illegal items.

“A pack of counterfeit cigarettes will not comply with important safety legislation and are totally unregulated so it can be a lottery as to what they really contain.”

If you have spotted or believe a trader in Lincoln is supplying illegal, fake or duty free goods such as cigarettes, please call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.