September 3, 2021 1.12 pm This story is over 32 months old

Cleethorpes shopkeeper sentenced over 80,000 illegal cigarettes

The counterfeit items represent a £24k loss to the local economy

By Local Democracy Reporter

A 24-year-old man from Cleethorpes has pleaded guilty to three charges relating to counterfeit tobacco sales, after 80,000 illicit cigarettes were found at his shop.

North East Lincolnshire Council’s Trading Standards officers attended Ferdawes International Foods on Freeman Street on February 18, 2020 and seized the items.

They found 78,360 counterfeit Richmond cigarettes, 1,540 fake Marlboro cigarettes and 20 pouches of counterfeit Amber Leaf tobacco were found at the shop, holding an illicit street value of £16,140, compared to a legitimate value of £40,370.

Saman Hamzay, 24, of Chester Place, Cleethorpes, appeared before Grimsby Magistrates’ Court on Friday, August 27 after pleading guilty to three charges under the Trade Marks Act 1994, at an earlier hearing.

He was sentenced to a 12-month community order incorporating 100 hours of unpaid work, ordered to pay £565 costs and a victim surcharge of £90.

This sentence came as magistrates gave credit to his early guilty plea and personal circumstances, though a custodial sentence had been considered due to to the severity of the offences.

Councillor Ron Shepherd, portfolio holder for safer and stronger communities, said: “Each inspection that we carry out disrupts the supply chain. With the support of the public, we can bring an end to this criminal trade. We do this to protect you.

“These inspections are very much intelligence-led and we will act on information received and enforce where necessary, so please get in touch with the council’s Trading Standards team if you are concerned.”