A business owner was fined over £1200 after pleading guilty to possessing illegal tobacco products for supply.
Mohammed Aslam, owner of MA Fashions in Earlestown, was taken to Liverpool, Knowsley and St Helens Magistrates Court by St Helens Council Trading Standards after approximately £1500 worth of illegal product was seized from his shop by trading standards officers in April this year.
Officers were acting on the intelligence of concerned residents when they raided the premises with assistance from Merseyside Police and specially trained sniffer dogs.
Aslam was ordered to pay a total of £1208.14 in fines and costs and the seized tobacco will be destroyed by trading standards.
Coun Seve Gomez-Aspron, cabinet member for green, smart and sustainable borough, said: “No cigarettes are safe but uncontrolled illegal cigarettes and tobacco can contain anything – even rat droppings have been found in fake cigarettes in the past.
“Not only this, but cheaper illicit cigarettes are more likely to fall into the hands of children and undermine public health efforts to reduce smoking prevalence.”
Anyone who has information about sales of illegal tobacco in St Helens are asked to call St Helens Trading Standards confidentially on 01744 676338 or e-mail St Helens Trading Standards at firstname.lastname@example.org