Release date: 9 August 2019
Two men who stored fake tobacco and cigarettes in Worthing have both received suspended prison sentences following an investigation by West Sussex Trading Standards.
Chiya Baaktiar Swar Sherwany was given a six month sentence suspended for 12 months and ordered to complete 100 hours of unpaid work and Aram Nadrei was given a four month sentence suspended for 12 months and ordered to complete 80 hours of unpaid work on Thursday 8 August at Lewes Crown Court.
On 7 February 2018, Trading Standards officers visited the shop All Sorts (120, Montague Street, Worthing) with trained sniffer dogs and discovered cigarettes and tobacco inside a drink’s fridge. They seized 104 packets of cigarettes and 60 pouches each containing 50g of tobacco.
Officers returned to the shop on 8 March 2018 and discovered a further 50 packets of cigarettes hidden inside the shop walls.
On 25 June 2018 Trading Standards officers found that Nadrei had made a payment to a storage unit in Worthing. This was later searched and more than 3000 packets of cigarettes and 32 tobacco pouches were discovered there.
Samples of the products were sent for testing and some were found to be dangerous.
Richard Sargeant, West Sussex Trading Standards Team Manager, said: “Illicit tobacco and cigarettes do not self-extinguish which makes them very dangerous. This sentence highlights the seriousness of the crime and I hope it will deter others from doing the same.”
Jacquie Russell, West Sussex County Council Cabinet Member for Safer, Stronger Communities, said: ““It is vital we put a stop to the sale of illicit and counterfeited cigarettes in West Sussex: This criminal activity particularly targets vulnerable smokers and potential new smokers. They pose additional and potentially serious extra health and fire risks compared to legitimate tobacco products.”
Anyone concerned about the sale of illegal tobacco and cigarettes should contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 04 05 06 or can report details online at www.westsussex.gov.uk/tsreport