European Foods shop owner Sertib Saywan Ahmed has been fined over £600 after he was found to be concealing almost 400 packets of illegal cigarettes in an underground bunker.
Sertib, who is 41 and lives in William House, appeared at Lincoln Magistrates CourtWednesday, March 30 and was found guilty of seven charges including the supplying and possessing of illicit cigarettes from his Lincoln High Street shop.
He was ordered to pay £630 for fines, surcharges and costs.
Accompanied by Lincolnshire Police, Trading Standards raided the shop in November 2014, and together with a tobacco detection dog, found 399 packets of illegal cigarettes hidden within an underground bunker in the shop floor.
Andy Wright, principal trading standards officer at Lincolnshire Trading Standards Officer, said: “We welcome this prosecution and we are determined to put a stop to illegal tobacco being supplied and sold here in Lincolnshire.
“We regularly act on intelligence received from local residents and we believe that people are beginning to understand this activity is damaging to their communities.
“Illegal cigarettes can often be linked to organised crime and they are much more likely to start a fire as they don’t self-extinguish.
“The sale of these products must be stopped, so we would encourage anyone who knows where illegal or counterfeit cigarettes are sold, to get in touch, anonymously, with Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”