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Sunday, August 18, 2019

Tobacco seizures worth £2.4m across Nottinghamshire in a year

PUBLISHED:

More than 124,000 illicit cigarettes and 6,000kg of tobacco were seized in Nottinghamshire last year, with 44 arrests made.

During 2017/18, officers from Nottinghamshire County Council’s trading standards team conducted a total of 124 inspections at premises in the county.

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In 5 instances there were seizures of illicit tobacco, with an estimated total retail value in excess of £2.4m, and 44 arrests were made.

Derek Higton, service director for place and communities at the council, has outlined the details of the work of Trading Standards in a report to the communities and place committee, which will meet meet on Thursday (May 17).

He said there are also a number of ongoing investigations.

In November 2017, three men, Fakher Fathulah, Marwan Shaban, Nabaz Ahmadi appeared at Crown Court charged with conspiracy to supply dangerous and counterfeit cigarettes.

After pleading guilty, Fatullah was sentenced to 11 months in prison, Shaban received 6 months in prison, and Ahmadi was sentenced to 150 hours unpaid work, and that a proceeds of crime investigation is ongoing.

The offenders worked at Kubus Mini Market in Toothill Lane in Mansfield, and CCTV managed by Mansfield District Council captured the three bringing illegal tobacco goods from a car outside the shop when customers requested the products.

The report of Mr Higton also said a trial for three defendants who have been charged with offences for supplying counterfeit and dangerous cigarettes from Alans Newsagents in Beeston will be held in August 2018.

From January 2014 to May 2018, Nottingham City Council’s Trading Standards have seized £511,823.20 of illegal tobacco products that would have funded organised crime.

They secured an order to close Nottingham Mini Market in Radford Road for three months earlier this year.

The court order said the shop had links to organised crime and during a series of raids, officers seized illegal tobacco worth £34,640.

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