Sudbury shopkeeper fined thousands for selling illegal cigarettes
A Sudbury shopkeeper, who admitted selling illegal cigarettes, has been handed a suspended prison sentence and ordered to pay more than £8,000.
Karzan Hamid Khalid, 38, appeared at Ipswich Crown Court on Thursday, after pleading guilty at an earlier hearing to supplying unsafe and counterfeit cigarettes and tobacco products.
He also admitted to offences on behalf of his company, Dixie EN Ltd, relating to the sale of products that failed to include the required health advice or comply with packaging regulations.
Judge Rupert Overbury sentenced Khalid to eight months imprisonment, which has been suspended for one year, and ordered him to pay £5,000 towards the cost of the prosecution.
Fines and costs totalling £3,116 will have to be paid by Dixie EN Ltd.
Khalid, of Sussex Road, Colchester, was charged after officers from Suffolk Trading Standards carried out a search of Sudbury Convenience Store in East Street, on June 22, 2017.
Officers had previously visited the shop to advise Khalid, but they later received intelligence of unlawful activities, and subsequently seized illicit tobacco from the store.
Meanwhile, Essex Trading Standards uncovered illegal products at another of Khalid’s shops in Colchester.
The prosecution, led by Suffolk Trading Standards, involved nearly 700 packets of cigarettes and 118 packs of rolling tobacco.
Richard Rout, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for environment and public protection, said: “This case is a great example of partnership, working with other local authorities to ensure the public is protected.
“Suffolk County Council and our trading standards team will always act against shopkeepers who put their profits above the health and safety of Suffolk residents.
“Sales of these illegal products also prevent valuable income from reaching genuine businesses.”
The court was told that Khalid, who had expressed remorse, was suffering financial problems at the time, and his business was being wound up.