Peterborough shop keepers fined for selling illegal cigarettes

Two Peterborough shopkeepers who sold illegal cigarettes in their city store have been fined hundreds of pounds.

Sayed Abdullah Hashemi, the owner of EU Food Store 615, based in Lincoln Road, Peterborough, sold counterfeit tobacco to officers from Peterborough City Council’s Trading Standards team during a test purchase operation in November 2018.

Peterborough Magistrates' Court

Peterborough Magistrates' Court

When officers returned to the store in January 2019, they seized 3,580 cigarettes and 50g of hand rolling tobacco from a hidden concealment under the counter.

The cigarettes and tobacco were incorrectly labelled and also failed safety tests.

Hashemi appeared at Peterborough Magistrates’ Court recently and pleaded guilty to six offences in relation to selling counterfeit goods.

He was fined £321, ordered to pay costs of £600 and a victim surcharge of £30.

Saman Omar Rashid Barazanjee also appeared at Peterborough Magistrates’ Court, following previous seizures of counterfeit goods from the International Food Store in Fitzwilliam Street, Peterborough.

On 20 September 2018 a total of 11,840 cigarettes and 0.95kilos of hand rolling tobacco were seized from under the counter.

On 21 November 2018 officers made a test purchase of counterfeit hand rolled tobacco.

And on 23 January 2019, officers seized 3,660 cigarettes and 0.55kg of hand rolling tobacco which was being stored at the back of the shop.

The cigarettes and tobacco were incorrectly labelled and also failed safety tests.

Baranzanjee pleaded guilty to four offences in relation to selling counterfeit goods and was fined £288, ordered to pay costs of £600 and a victim surcharge of £30.

Peter Gell, head of regulatory services at Peterborough City Council, said: “We take the sale of illegal cigarettes and tobacco extremely seriously. Our priority is the protection of the public. Illegal cigarettes and tobacco pose serious health risks because the ingredients are not regulated properly, and in cases where duty hasn’t been paid, legitimate businesses will be out of pocket.

“I hope these two latest successful prosecutions will act as a warning to other traders selling counterfeit goods in our city that we will do everything in our power to protect the safety and rights of our residents.”

To report an issue to Peterborough and Cambridgeshire Trading Standards team call 01733 747474 or email tstand@peterborough.gov.uk.