Lincoln shop owner fined after raid uncovers illegal cigarettes, twice

A Lincoln food shop owner has been prosecuted by Lincolnshire Trading Standards after raids uncovered thousands of illegal cigarettes.

Haso Ali, 41, of 88, Shuttleworth House, was found guilty of eight charges including the supply and possession of illicit cigarettes at International Foods on Portland Street in Lincoln when he appeared at Lincoln Magistrates’ Court.

Along with Lincolnshire Police, Trading Standards officers raided the shop on Lincoln’s Portland Street in September 2016 found almost 6,000 illicit cigarettes.

In a follow up raid on the shop in January 2017, over 5,000 illicit cigarettes were found.

Mark Keal, business and public protection manager at Lincolnshire County Council, said: “We’re very pleased with the outcome of this prosecution, and as a service we continue to dedicate our time in putting a stop to illegal tobacco being sold in Lincolnshire.

“Illegal cigarettes can be extremely dangerous, with many not complying to product safety standards as found in the premises on Portland Street. They are often also linked to organised crime and a stop must be put to the sale of these products.

“We would encourage anyone who knows where illegal or counterfeit cigarettes are sold, to get in touch, anonymously, with Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”

Mr Ali was ordered to pay £800 towards prosecution costs and £85 victim surcharge alongside completing 120 hours unpaid work.