Latest court success against illicit tobacco
A Mansfield shopkeeper has received a suspended prison sentence for the sale of illicit tobacco over a two year period.
Hewa Jamal Abdulla was sentenced to 24 months in prison, suspended for 18 months, at Nottingham Crown Court on Friday 1st September. He was also sentenced to carry out 150 hours unpaid work and ordered to pay £20,000 following a proceeds of crime investigation.
Abdulla, aged 36 from Nottingham, owns the Zabcia store on White Hart Street in Mansfield town centre and pleaded guilty to two offences of conspiracy for the supply of counterfeit and dangerous cigarettes from December 2013 to April 2016.
Shop worker Abdullah Ali Mohammed, aged 41, from Mansfield, pleaded guilty to the same offences and has been sentenced to 22 months in prison suspended for 18 months, with 100 hours unpaid work. He has also been ordered to pay £3,900 following the proceeds of crime investigation.
During one raid in June 2015, Nottinghamshire County Council’s Trading Standards team seized 47,000 illicit cigarettes.
Councillor Gordon Wheeler, Vice-Chairman of Nottinghamshire County Council’s Communities and Place Committee, said: “The illicit cigarettes on sale at this store were either counterfeit or dangerous in that they did not self extinguish when left unattended so were a significant fire hazard. These products are usually untaxed so they deprive public services of revenue and their lower price also discouraged smokers from quitting their habit.
“It’s pleasing that the individuals involved have been forced to pay more than £20,000 from their ill-gotten gains, demonstrating that crime doesn’t pay.”
People can also ring Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or by visiting www.crimestoppers-uk.org.uk
The County Council provides services for people to quit smoking through the specialist service Solutions4Health which is available by calling 0800 2465343 or text ‘QUIT’ to 66777.