Neasden shop owner fined for selling illegal cigarettes

17 August 2018


The director of a convenience store and his company has been ordered to pay fines totalling £4141 for possessing illegal tobacco after an investigation by Brent and Harrow Trading Standards.


Mihai Lupes (54) and his company, Bacovia Ltd, both of 296A Neasden Lane pleaded guilty to possessing cigarettes and other tobacco products without displaying the correct health warnings or complying with the standard packaging requirements.


Willesden Magistrates fined the company £1450, a victim surcharge of £145 and costs of £1446. Mr Lupes was fined £100 and a victim surcharge of £100.


Officers from Brent Trading Standards visited the shop on Neasden Lane in February this year and seized a total of 3,998 unit packs of cigarettes and 244 unit packs of hand rolling tobacco from the stockroom.


During the subsequent interview with officers, Mr Lupes, who was represented by a solicitor, gave "no comment" answers to his role in the business and to the ownership and responsibility of the tobacco products.


The court heard that this was the third time Mr Lupes and his company had been before magistrates for similar offences and he pleaded guilty on both previous occasions.


Another case of tobacco products not complying with health regulations and standardised packaging was brought before Willesden Magistrate's on 14 August this year. Jasim Ghanm (43) director of London Route Ltd in Kilburn High Road pleaded guilty to all 6 charges against him and his company. The court fined both £100 each with a victim surcharge of £30 and they were ordered to pay costs of £475 each, a total of £1210.


Cllr Tom Miller, Brent Council's Cabinet Member for Stronger Communities, said:


"These successful prosecutions follow some great work by our trading standards team, and I'd like to thank them for their stirling efforts. All retailers in Brent have to trade within the law and it's not fair if legitimate businesses are having to compete with others who are breaking it. I hope this sends out a strong message that we will take action if the rules are being flouted."


All offences concerned failure to comply with the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations Act 2016 and Standardised Packaging of Tobacco Products Regulations 2015.