Mr Herish Wali, of Hanover Gardens in Dewsbury, appeared at Kirklees Magistrates Court on April 3 for selling the cigarettes and hand rolling tobacco at his mini market on Commercial Street.
Wali pleaded guilty to fraudulent trading over an 18-month period and five offences of selling counterfeit non duty paid cigarettes. He was ordered to pay costs of £1,500 plus a victim surcharge of £85 and ordered to do 60 hours of unpaid work.
The illegal tobacco, which didn’t have the statutory health warnings, was not in the standardised packaging and was non duty paid, was found hidden under the counter in a sophisticated hydraulic concealment and under the stairs, which were controlled by an electric fob.
The haul was found by West Yorkshire Trading Standards Service (WYTS). The service has received many complaints over the years about the premises supplying illicit and duty free tobacco.
The inspections and prosecution were part of The Tackling Illicit Tobacco for Better Health Programme, funded by the five Public Health authorities in West Yorkshire. To date the programme has taken more than four million illegal cigarettes and more than one tonne of illegal tobacco off the streets.
David Lodge, head of West Yorkshire Trading Standards, said “All tobacco is harmful, but the supply of illegal cigarettes seriously undermines the drive to reduce smoking, fuels organised criminality and is often a gateway for young people to becoming addicted to a habit which prematurely kills over half its users.”
To report a trader selling cheap and illegal tobacco, call the Illegal Tobacco Hotline on 0300 999 0000.