Two store owners in Brent have been handed hefty fines for possessing cigarettes without displaying the correct health warnings.
Mr Mohammad Hashim Aryubi and Mr Karim Kedr were ordered to pay more than £3800 in total by Willesden Magistrates Court earlier this month.
Forty-two year-old Mr Aryubi, Company Director of Aryubi Express Limited, a small supermarket on Kilburn High Road, was fined £1000 and ordered to pay costs of £961 for the offence.
The court heard how in November of last year, Brent Council Trading Standards Officers received a complaint and visited the supermarket, where they found large numbers of foreign labelled cigarettes and hand rolling tobacco pouches on display. In total, officers confiscated 83 pouches of hand rolling tobacco, 25 packets of shisha tobacco molasses and 133 packets of cigarettes, all without the correct health warnings in English, which is required by law.
On the same day in court, a convenience store owner on Kilburn Lane also landed himself in hot water, being handed a large fine for possessing illegal cigarettes in his store.
Forty-five year old store owner, Mr Karim Kedr of Malvern Road, Kilburn, was fined £1100 and ordered to pay costs of £931 the offence. In December of last year, Trading Standards Officers visited Mr Kedr's store, and confiscated a whopping 504 packs of cigarettes and 159 packs of shisha tobacco, all without or with incorrect health warnings in English.
Cllr Michael Pavey, Cabinet Member for Stronger Communities, said:
"We will not stand for anyone selling illegal tobacco in our communities.
"All tobacco must be correctly labelled and displayed. We will not allow businesses to break these rules to increase their profits.
"People who are dealing in illegal tobacco products should take these latest prosecutions as a further warning. Our trading standards officers are working hard to keep these illegal products off the streets and are cracking down on the businesses and individuals that flout the law."
Illegal cigarette sales can be reported to Trading Standards via the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 04 05 06.