Wisbech shopkeeper found guilty of illicit tobacco charges

Specially trained dogs were used at a Wisbech convenience store to uncover illegal tobacco

Specially trained dogs were used at a Wisbech convenience store to uncover illegal tobacco - Credit: Archant

Selling illegal tobacco has cost a Wisbech shopkeeper more than £5,000 after being convicted in his absence by magistrates in Peterborough.

Sam Allan, aka Walat Zaki, age 43 of Granary Close Peterborough, was found guilty on July 20 at the city’s magistrates’ court of selling and possession to supply of illicit tobacco worth £200 at Nene Quay Convenience Shop, Wisbech in March 2016.

He was fined £2,500 with a victim surcharge of £120 and costs of £2,609, with forfeiture and destruction of cigarettes.

The aggravating factor in these offences was that Mr Allan was present in the shop on a previous occasion when it was raided by Trading Standards in 2015. Mr Allan admitted possession of the cigarettes during an interview with Trading Standards.

Cambridgeshire County Council Trading Standards took part in raids in partnership with Cambridgeshire Police, HM Revenue and Customs and Wagtail International during March. Specially trained detection dogs were used to find the concealed tobacco.

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Aileen Andrews, service manager for Cambridgeshire trading standards, said “Offenders need to know that they will face consequences if they choose to supply illicit tobacco to our communities. We welcome all information from the public about illicit sales of tobacco, particularly to children. We can be contacted via Citizens Advice on 03454 040506.”

Val Thomas, consultant in public health at Cambridgeshire County Council, said: “People who sell illicit cigarettes target vulnerable communities where more people smoke and more people are in poorer health, or young people who may be encouraged to smoke by lower priced cigarettes. These cheap cigarettes do not help us improve the health of our communities.”

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