Shop owner fined £2,400 for selling illicit cigarettes

8 March 2019

A convenience store owner on Walm Lane, Mr Hekmatullah Khan, has been fined £2,400 for selling cigarettes without displaying the correct health warning, following action by Brent Council's Trading Standards team.

Last July, officers seized over 500 illegal packets of cigarettes and 164 packs of hand rolling tobacco from Galaxy News at 37 Walm Lane in Willesden Green. With an estimated street value of £3,325, the tobacco products failed to display the legally required health warnings.

Mr Khan claimed to have bought the tobacco for £1,700 from an unknown salesperson who visited his shop and blamed his own inexperience for stocking the illegal tobacco.

Mr Khan pleaded guilty to six offences at Willesden Magistrates Court on 26 February 2019, five in relation to the haul of illicit tobacco and a sixth for failing to display his name and address in his business premises. He was fined £2,400 and ordered to pay court costs of £1,376 to Brent Council, as well as a victim surcharge of £40.

Cllr Miller, Lead Member for Community Safety at Brent Council, said: "Selling illegal goods hurts legitimate, hardworking businesses and traders, as they gain an unfair competitive advantage. Let this be further warning to retailers that we will seize illegal goods and prosecute them, to make Brent safer for everyone."