In early 2017 the Derby City Council Trading Standards team worked closely with HMRC and Derbyshire Constabulary to tackle the sale and supply of illicit tobacco in the city.

As a result, Ismael Osman Mohammed, trading at the time as Nasza Biedronka from 296-298 Normanton Road, Derby was prosecuted at Derby City Magistrates Court for being in possession of a quantity of foreign labelled tobacco which had been smuggled into the country illegally along with tobacco that failed UK safety tests.

The tobacco seized had a retail value of approximately £1937. Mr Mohammed, a Doncaster based resident, sold the premises shortly after the tobacco was seized.

In court, he pleaded guilty to three offences, two safety related offences and one offence relating to labelling.

During sentencing, the Magistrates highlighted that there was high culpability and high risk involved in this case and based their fine of £245 on an early guilty plea and no previous convictions.  Mr Mohammed was also fined a victim surcharge of £30 and full costs were awarded to the prosecution. As such, Mr Mohammed has been ordered to pay £2646.87 in total.

Tobacco is now required to be sold in plain packaging and Trading Standards are already seeing counterfeit plain packaged tobacco entering the market.

Cllr Afzal has pledged to tackle such trade in illegal goods and enforcement activities are still ongoing in Derby City. He said:

“Illegal tobacco in our communities harms legitimate businesses and is a safety hazard for those that buy it. This illegal activity has been ongoing for far too long and that is why it is one of our 50 pledges to protect Derby’s residents and consumers from unsafe and illicit goods of all kinds. It is important that communities help us to do this by reporting the sale and supply of tobacco so that we can gather the intelligence needed in order to bring those responsible before the courts.”

Reporting methods:

Crimestoppers 0800 555 111

Action Fraud 0300 123 2040

Citizens Advice 03454 04 05 06