March 26, 2018 9.44 am This story is over 68 months old

Gainsborough fake tobacco seller avoids jail

Dangerous tobacco was found behind a secret metal door.

A Gainsborough man avoided jail after being caught selling dangerous and counterfeit goods in a joint operation between Lincolnshire Trading Standards and Lincolnshire Police.

Omed Haval was handed a four-week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, and ordered to pay £3,256.87, with a victim surcharge of £115, after a raid at a shop at 132 Trinity Street in September 2017.

Trading Standards officers and police entered the premises on September 19, 2017 after a test purchase at the shop and a metal door under the counter was found to contain counterfeit or dangerous cigarettes and tobacco.

A vehicle outside, which the defendant admitted was his, also had cigarettes and tobacco inside.

Haval faced seven charges, with charge one relating to the test purchase carried out on July 25, 2017.

Charges two to seven relate to counterfeit Regal and Richmond cigarettes, possession of criminal property, namely 6,520 cigarettes, and 5kg’s of hand rolling tobacco.

It also relates to possession of dangerous cigarettes – “Minsk” brand which failed the ignition propensity test – and two further labelling offences in relation to Rothman cigarettes and Cutters choice tobacco.

Trade Mark holders confirmed that 198 packets of Regal and Richmond cigarettes were counterfeit and Minsk cigarettes were tested and found to be dangerous.

Many of the brands were also not correctly labelled and had been manufactured for use and sale in other European countries.

The court took into account that this was Haval’s first offence and in addition to his sentence and costs, the court ordered forfeiture and disposal of 6,520 cigarettes and 5kg of hand rolling tobacco.

The items are due to be burned to create electricity.