THE actions of a trader who sold counterfeit cigarettes and fake tobacco products were criticized by a senior adviser.
Councilor Bobbie Dove says Aryan Anwar Abdullah ‘puts profit above the safety of the public and our young people’ after he was taken to court by the local authority’s trading standards team.
As reported, Abdullah, now of Wembley Street, Swindon, sold the illegal goods while owning Poole Convenience in the High Street.
Products seized by council officers from the premises in December 2018 did not comply with European safety standards and were presented as genuine.
Abdullah, 40, was sentenced to two years in prison, suspended for two years after pleading guilty to four counts of possession of goods with a false trademark for sale and two counts of distributor with a product that is dangerous for the supply.
Following the conviction, Cllr Bobbie Dove, Community Safety Portfolio Holder, said: ‘The sale of illicit tobacco is not a victimless crime. This seller has undermined legitimate traders who make an honest living and the effectiveness of the amazing programs in place to help curb smoking.
“This business owner was well aware of the law, but put profit above the safety of the public and our young people; not only by selling harmful products to minors, but also by selling items that posed a fire hazard because they would not be extinguished.
“The work of our trading standards officers who proactively visited the scene with the police on several occasions had a significant effect.
“Items were seized and samples of illicit cigarettes and tobacco were examined and found to be foreign labeled, not bearing the correct warnings or to be counterfeit.
“The subsequent prosecution of this vendor sends a very clear message to anyone who thinks they can profit from the sale of illicit tobacco; the council will not tolerate this in the BCP council area.
“I would like to commend the team that carried out these investigations and urge anyone who is offered cigarettes or tobacco labeled overseas in suspicious circumstances, or to under 18s, to let us know. report by calling the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 04 05 06.
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