A city centre trader has left with a court bill of almost £2,000 for having more than 3,600 fake cigarettes in his shop.
Trading standards officers also seized 2.2kg of rolling tobacco during a raid on Sasan’s, Kirkgate Market, in March as part of a clamp down across West Yorkshire.
They used sniffer dogs and found that tobacco was concealed under the counter in a compartment that was operated by hydraulics.
David Lodge, head of West Yorkshire Trading Standards, said: “Our team is dedicated to tackling the trade in illicit tobacco and we’re dealing with every complaint we receive. Young people are often targeted due to the low cost of these products and smokers are encouraged to keep up the habit.
“Traders in illegal tobacco need to know that we will make no exceptions and there are no signs of us slowing down.”
Coun Ros Lund, chairwoman of the West Yorkshire Joint Services Committee which oversees the work of Trading Standards, said: “The illegal sale of tobacco in communities enables and encourages young children to buy it cheaply.
“This is an excellent result and acknowledges the seriousness of this type of activity. I would like to thank members of the public for reporting illegal sales and encourage everyone to continue doing so to reduce the harm caused by tobacco in our communities.”
Shop Owner Arian Jalal, 36, of Denmark Street, Wakefield, was fined £320 and ordered to carry out 60-hours community service when he appeared at Wakefield Magistrates’ Court yesterday (Thursday, September 24).
He was also ordered to pay £1,517.88 costs and a £60 victim surcharge.