THE owner of a convenience shop appeared in court after investigators found more than £10,000 worth of illegal cigarettes and tobacco.
Ako Hasib Ahman, of Warwick Crescent in Southsea, had his store searched by a trading standards team.
Sniffer dogs found almost 15,000 illegal cigarettes and 13.5kg of illegal hand-rolling tobacco at the 41-year-old’s store DLight Mini Mart, on Elm Grove.
Some of the cigarettes discovered by the Portsmouth City Council investigators had higher levels of nicotine and carbon monoxide than permitted and were not for the UK market.
Others were fake versions of brands Mayfair, Marlboro, Amber Leaf and Golden Virginia.
The team raided the shop on February 21 last year after receiving information.
The haul that our team seized included hazardous products, and counterfeits designed to rip off customers.Richard Lee
Ahman appeared at Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court and was sentenced to 200 hours of community service and told to pay £1,500 costs and a £85 victim surcharge.
Magistrates ordered for the goods to be destroyed.
Ahman pleaded guilty to possessing and supplying:
n counterfeit cigarettes and hand-rolling tobacco.
n tobacco products producing higher than permitted levels of nicotine and carbon monoxide.
n prohibited flavoured hand-rolling tobacco.
n tobacco products not for the UK market, and not complying with labelling regulations.
Richard Lee, the council’s regulatory services manager, said: ‘The haul that our team seized included hazardous products, and counterfeits designed to rip off customers.
‘I hope this prosecution sends a signal to any other traders who think they can make money selling this stuff on our streets.’
The business is now closed.