28th October 2020

Discount store prosecuted for selling illegal cigarettes

The boss of a discount store in Radcliffe has been sentenced for possessing and selling counterfeit cigarettes and tobacco.

Zafar Iqbal Rehman (aged 44), a director of ZR Stores Limited of Church Street, Radcliffe was prosecuted following an investigation by Bury trading standards after a tip-off from a member of the public.

Accompanied by a team from Wagtail UK Ltd, who provided a tobacco detection dog, officers searched the shop and an adjacent flat. They found 4,580 Mayfair, Richmond Paradox and Gold Mount branded cigarettes, and 3.2kg of Golden Virginia, Amber Leaf and Eastenders tobacco, all of which was counterfeit or illegal.

Rehman pleaded guilty to eight charges against him as a company director, and to eight charges for the limited company itself, when he appeared before Manchester and Salford Magistrates Court on 19 April 2018.

ZR Stores Ltd was fined £750 plus a victim surcharge of £75, while Rehman was sentenced to a 12-month community order of 160 hours’ unpaid work, plus a victim surcharge of £85. A proportion (£475) of the prosecution costs was also awarded to Bury Council.

Angela Lomax, head of Bury’s trading standards and licensing, said: “The sale and supply of illicit tobacco is a serious offence and trading standards will take prosecutions and continue to put a stop to illegal tobacco being supplied and sold in Bury. We regularly act on intelligence received from residents and genuine traders and we believe that people are beginning to understand that this activity is damaging to their communities.

“If anyone has concerns about people or businesses selling illicit goods, please report the matter on 03454 04 05 06.”

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