Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Shopkeeper sentenced for selling dangerous cigarettes

Sniffer dogs - including Yoyo (pictured) found the contraband Photo: West Sussex Trading Standards

A shopkeeper who sold dangerous cigarettes from a store in Worthing has been handed an 18 month community order after being prosecuted by Trading Standards.

The contraband was found by sniffer dogs who located the illegal foreign labelled cigarettes and tobacco behind the till and in the wall of the store's stockroom last November. There were 41 pouches of foreign tobacco; and 45 cigarette packets - each containing 20 cigarettes

Goran Jalal, of no fixed address, hid the items in cavity walls when he owned the All Sorts convenience store in Montague Street, Worthing.

Illegal tobacco and cigarettes found hidden in shop walls

Laboratory tests on the items found by the dogs found that the cigarettes were unsafe because they do not self-extinguish in the way that legal cigarettes do.

The raid followed two test purchases by undercover West Sussex Trading Standards officers earlier in 2016. They had sent Jalal a written warning in August 2016 after seizing illegal tobacco from the same store in May 2016. Jalal pleaded guilty in court and was sentenced to an 18-month long community order with 15 rehabilitation days, 80 hours of community service, and £511 in costs.

Laboratory tests on the items found by the dogs found that the cigarettes were unsafe because they do not self-extinguish in the way that legal cigarettes do.

The raid followed two test purchases by undercover West Sussex Trading Standards officers earlier in 2016. They had sent Jalal a written warning in August 2016 after seizing illegal tobacco from the same store in May 2016. Jalal pleaded guilty in court and was sentenced to an 18-month long community order with 15 rehabilitation days, 80 hours of community service, and £511 in costs.

The cigarettes found by the sniffer dogs were hidden in the shop's walls

“Cheap, illicit tobacco can be attractive for people on low incomes. But the price of this could be fatal.

“These illegal cigarettes do not self-extinguish, are dangerous, and have led to house fires in the past.

“Our message to anyone out there who is engaged in the illegal tobacco trade is to be warned – we will prosecute you.”

– Richard Sargeant, West Sussex Trading Standards Manager

Anyone with information about illegal tobacco sales can let Trading Standards departments know by telephoning the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 04 05 06. In the West Sussex area you can also report the details online.