Two shop owners in Lincoln have been prosecuted for selling counterfeit tobacco.
Mr Jasim of International Foods, 18 Portland Street, and Ms Beta Gil of Kalinka, 191 Newark Road, were both prosecuted at Lincoln Magistrates' Court last week.
The hearing was brought after raids by Lincolnshire Trading Standards and Lincolnshire Police earlier in late 2012 and early 2013.
Mr Jasim faced 14 charges, including general product safety, trademarks act, tobacco warning labelling and proceeds of crime. He was found guilty of all.
Earlier in the year International Foods’ shop assistant, Miss Tokarska, was also prosecuted for four charges, including the sale of counterfeit tobacco. She was sentenced to fines and costs of £330.
Officers, when investigating Kalinka with Lincolnshire Police and HMRC, found 1.2kgs of Hand Rolling Tobacco and 3,080 cigarettes in secret concealments.
Beta Gil, the director and manageress at the store, was responsible for her company’s actions and was prosecuted accordingly. She was given 150 hours community service, plus fines and costs of £460.
Ian Newell, service manager at Lincolnshire County Council, said: “Retailers have a duty to understand how the law applies to them - and how they should follow it to ensure the safety of their customers.
“As Trading Standards Officers, we aim to create a fair and equitable trading environment for all, so we’re here to protect consumers and genuine retailers selling genuine products and crack down on those who don’t.
“We know that counterfeit cigarettes are often more harmful to health as they can contain a higher level of toxic chemicals and are more dangerous as they do not burn out if left unattended like genuine products. This is why our work is so vital and we won’t hesitate to take action against these criminals.”
Further defendants involved in these and similar cases are due in court in the next few weeks.