Cottingley man fined over illegal cigarettes

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The owner of a shop on Dewsbury Road has been ordered to pay a total of £940 in fines and costs after pleading guilty to a number of offences relating to the possession and supply of illegal tobacco.

Kambiz Sawjblagchy, of Cottingley Towers, was convicted and sentenced at Leeds Magistrates’ Court yesterday after pleading guilty of offences under the Consumer Protection Act 1987.

Following an inspection of his shop premises, Europa Food Store on Dewsbury Road, Beeston, by Trading Standards, Leeds Licensing, UKBA and West Yorkshire Police in April, over 260 packs of illegal cigarettes were seized. Specially trained tobacco detection dogs had discovered cigarettes in a concealment in the shop’s toilet area worth over £1,200.

David Lodge Head of West Yorkshire Trading Standards said: said “Those involved in dealing in illegal tobacco may be encouraging people, including children to smoke by providing a cheap source. The detection dogs can find tobacco and cigarettes even if hidden in the most unlikely places.

“Offenders need to know that they will face consequences if they choose to deal in these illegal products.”

Coun Bill Urry of the West Yorkshire Trading Standards Committee, said “We, along with partner agencies have been working successfully to cut the supply of and demand for cheap illegal tobacco.

Its low price and easy availability encourages people to keep smoking, and children and young people are often targeted by unscrupulous traders. This enforcement action is therefore welcomed.”

Anyone with information regarding the sale of illegal tobacco can pass information confidentially to Crime-stoppers on 0800 555 111.