Another illegal tobacco trader prosecuted

Our Regulatory Services team has brought another successful case to court, following sales of illegal and illicit tobacco.

Harda Azeez from Royston, Barnsley appeared at Barnsley Magistrates Court on 27 July 2023.

Mr Azeez pleaded guilty to multiple offences which related to the possession, concealment, and sale of illicit tobacco and illegal E-Cigarettes including 1,400 cigarettes and 69 pouches of hand rolling tobacco, and 256 illegal vapes.

After presenting the evidence and making submissions, Mr. Azeez received a community order and was required to complete 180 hours of unpaid work within 12 months, and a costs order of £2,200 was imposed along with a victim surcharge of £114. 

Julia Burrows, Executive Director of Public Health and Communities said: ‘I want to emphasise that all tobacco poses significant health risks, and we are fully committed to preventing the sale of illegal tobacco and vapes.

The illegal tobacco trade is disturbingly linked to organised crime and criminal gangs. Those involved in smuggling, distributing, and selling illegal tobacco often engage in drug dealing, money laundering, and people trafficking. Even seemingly 'small-time' local sellers are part of a broader criminal chain – selling illegal tobacco is a crime we take very seriously.  The sale of illegal vapes is also an emerging trend we are committed to tackle. 

Additionally, the dangers of illegal tobacco go beyond criminal activities. The products being sold are unregulated and can be even more harmful to people's health. These unregulated products may contain higher levels of toxins and unknown substances, putting consumers at greater risk.

We must remain vigilant in our efforts to combat the illegal tobacco trade, protecting our communities from both the criminal elements involved and the potential health hazards posed by these unregulated products."

This serves as a reminder that actions have consequences. Anyone with information regarding the sale of illegal tobacco is asked to contact Regulatory Services on (01226) 773743 or email Although it is of greatest benefit to us to have your contact details when you pass information through to us, information can also be provided anonymously. 

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