Wick shop fined thousands for selling illegal cigarettes
The director of a Wick shop which sold illegal tobacco has been ordered to pay a Â£2,000 fine, the county council said.
Irina Nikolajeca from Wick, Littlehampton, pleaded guilty on behalf of her company, Baltic Express Ltd., to four offences relating to the possession and sale of illegal tobacco.
This followed an investigation by West Sussex Trading Standards, which visited the shop in the True Blue Precinct in Wick in September last year and seized nine packs of cigarettes from the stockroom.
They seized more than 100 packets from a vehicle outside the shop after finding the keys under the shop counter, a Trading Standards spokesman said.
None of these illicit cigarettes were labelled in English and some were found to be unsafe.
Debbie Kennard, West Sussex County Council cabinet member for Safer, Stronger Communities, said: “These illegal cigarettes can be incredibly dangerous.
“Without the excellent work of our Trading Standards team, this business would still be selling these fakes with potentially fatal consequences for customers.”
Richard Sargeant, trading standards team manager, said: “We are encouraging people to remain vigilant and to report the sale of illicit tobacco and cigarettes.
“While they may appear to be a bargain illegal cigarettes can pose a greater fire risk which makes them very dangerous.”
Anyone with information about illegal goods can contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 04 05 06 or can report details online at westsussex.gov.uk/TSreport.