Over £5,000 in fines and costs for illegal tobacco trader

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

Parwaiz Noori, 31, of Albert Street, Rotherham, appeared at Barnsley Magistrates Court on Friday, 21 April, where he pleaded guilty to charges relating to sales from Best One (Barnsley) Ltd Lundwood, where he was the sole director. 

The following charges were brought against the Limited Company and also against Mr Noori for his personal liability as a company director. 

7 March 2022 – possession of 720 illicit cigarettes and two pouches of hand-rolling tobacco.

16 May 2022 test purchase by an undercover volunteer – sold 20 illegal cigarettes.

21 July 2022 test purchase by an undercover volunteer  – sold 20 illegal cigarettes

Magistrates ordered the Company to pay a  £1,000 fine, £3,213.57 costs, and a victim surcharge of £100, and Mr Noori to also pay a £1,000 fine and £100 victim surcharge.

Illicit and illegal can usually be categorised into three types:

  1. Cheap Whites – Cheap Whites are cigarettes manufactured for the sole purpose of being smuggled into and sold illegally in another market. They usually do not pay tax in the country where they are made. In most cases Illicit Whites are produced in countries outside the European Union, smuggled into the UK. Often the packaging will not display the relevant health warnings and images.   
  2. Counterfeit – This is manufactured illegally and sold by a party other than the original trademark or copyright holder.
  3. Genuine tobacco smuggled into the UK – This is manufactured legally for another market outside the UK and can include UK and non-UK brands. Often these products do display the correct health warnings and images however duty will not have been paid.

Julia Burrows, Executive Director of Public Health and Communities, said: “All tobacco causes significant harm to people’s health, and we will do everything we can to prevent the sale of illegal tobacco. 

“The illegal tobacco trade has strong links with organised crime and criminal gangs, so many of the people smuggling, distributing and selling it are involved in drug dealing, money laundering, people trafficking and even terrorism. Even ‘small-time’ local sellers are at the end of a long criminal chain – selling illegal tobacco is a crime.”

Anyone with information regarding the sale of illegal tobacco is asked to contact Regulatory Services on 01226 773743.

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